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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P027210/1
Title: Real-time In-line Microstructural Engineering (RIME)
Principal Investigator: Davis, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr L Zhou
Project Partners:
British Steel Ltd Primetals Technologies Ltd (UK) Tata Steel
Tenaris
Department: WMG
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 30 September 2020 Value (£): 493,728
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Instrumentation Eng. & Dev. Manufacturing Machine & Plant
Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
EP/P027237/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Mar 2017 EPSRC Manufacturing Prioritisation Panel March 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Steel continues to be the most used material in the world by value and play an essential role in all aspects of society, from construction to transport, energy generation to food production. The long-term sustainability of UK steel making requires lower energy production and the development of high value steel products. The ability to measure the microstructure of steel in a non-contact, non-destructive fashion can lead to dramatic improvement in the understanding of the material and its behaviour during processing and in-service. Improved control during processing will increase efficiency in production of complex steel microstructures and allow new generation alloys to be made. Through our previous EPSRC and industry funded research we have created a new electromagnetic (EM) measurement system, EMspecTM, that can monitor the microstructure of strip steel during hot processing. This system is now providing information related to the condition (transformed phase fraction) of the microstructure over 100% of the strip length. The scene is now set to make the next major step forward with the information that new in-line microstructure measurement systems can offer - proposed real-time in-line microstructural engineering, or 'RIME' technology.

Our ambition is to enable real-time microstructure engineering during processing via dynamic control of cooling strategies or heat treatment using EM sensor feedback, in particular to engineer microstructures that were previously either impossible to achieve in full scale production or could not be reliably achieved. This will require detailed knowledge of the full temperature - magnetic - microstructure parameter space and sensors that are capable of operating in elevated temperature environments (such as heat treatment facilities), which are not currently available outside the laboratory. In addition application to a wide range of product lines, from strip to plate or sections requires integration of through thickness cooling models and EM signal-depth interpretation all mapped for varying temperature and phase fraction. In this project we will develop new sensors that can operate at high temperature; both laboratory systems to determine full magnetic properties with temperature for model and commercial steels, essential information that is currently unavailable in the literature, and robust deployable sensors for trials in industrial conditions; and systems designed to interrogate for through thickness data. We will develop a demonstration facility, consisting of a furnace, run out table with cooling sprays and EMspecTM system, to allow dynamic feedback control of cooling schedules from EM sensor signals to engineer specific microstructures. Alongside the hardware and demonstration activities we will also develop modelling capabilities, both for sensor design and signal interpretation: our current models are used to relate sensor signals to microstructure (phase fraction and grain size at room temperature) with incorporation of temperature effects planned in this project. A number of case studies have been identified to trial the new technologies including advanced high strength strip steels (AHSS) for light-weighting of vehicles, high strength - high toughness pipeline steels for demanding environments, high strength, more uniform, constructional steels and tailoring microstructure in rod.

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Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk