Closing date: 28 February 2018
Start Date: October 2018
Sponsoring Company: Tata Steel
How Air knives perform in Hot Dip Galvanising affect coating weight (cost) and the appearance of modern cars.
Air knives are essential equipment in the process of car body manufacturing, since present steel car bodies are manufactured from galvanised material, e.g. from Tata Steel Llanwern ZODIAC line. In the process of galvanising a steel strip is pulled through a bath of molten zinc and the zinc coating would be 200 µm without any measures; much higher than the required 10 µm coating thickness. Therefore, the thickness of the liquid film on the metal sheet needs to be reduced by 90%.
For this task in a galvanising line air knives are used. These ‘knives’ blow a high velocity gas jet on the strip through a slot, and the shear force induced on the strip reduces the coating to the desired level; the gas flow of this gas jet is of turbulent nature and therefore inherently unstable. Only recently, the effect of this instability on the surface has been investigated, and in this research it has been found that the interaction between the jet and the liquid metal is a source for irregularities on the final coating. These surface irregularities very well can be responsible for an unwanted surface appearance known as ‘orange peel’.
More knowledge on this process will improve the surface appearance thus more premium product can be produced. Furthermore, the air-knife process is limiting line speed. It is anticipated that increased knowledge could extend production capacity. Finally, improved layer homogeneity reduces zinc consumption, resulting in huge potential savings.
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Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. This project is suitable for candidate with a background in physics/aerospace preferably with knowledge on fluid dynamics.
We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/englishlanguagerequirements/
Our funders require applicants to also meet the following eligibility criteria:
Further information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at: http://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility
The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a.