Application of Micro-Structure Analysis using Induction Spectroscopy (AMAIS)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering


The development of new techniques to measure a materials microstructure in conditions where measurement has not been previously possible can lead to a dramatic improvement in the understanding of the material, its processing and hence the ability to control its properties better. At present, the majority of microstructural analysis techniques are destructive and / or require small samples. Consequently, they are limited in applicability if dynamic microstructural analysis in-situ during commercial processing is of interest. A number of techniques have been proposed to directly measure microstructures on-line during processing but as yet no single technique appears to offer a full solution.The metals industry is highly competitive and the ability to adapt to the changing demands of customers is essential, e.g. via introduction of new products. There is also a need to produce high quality (high added value) products in order to keep a competitive edge in the global economy. This in turn requires new and better measurement and control procedures and therefore an on-line inspection system would be highly valuable.The aim of the MAIS project has been to exploit novel multi-frequency electromagnetic techniques to analyse microstructure. The research has involved theoretical analysis of the response to ferrite fraction and morphology and the electromagnetic properties of steel, which has been supported by 3D modelling of both simple and realistic microstructures. In parallel, the problem of inverting the complex inductance spectra acquired by the sensor system to yield parameters of metallurgical significance has been addressed. Finally, sensor configurations which can be deployed on-line have been considered.This follow on project (AMAIS) will demonstrate the efficacy of the electromagnetic microstructure analysis system in a real industrial environment and prove that the technology developed over two previous EPSRC projects in partnership with the metallurgy experts in industry and academia can be taken from the laboratory to real application. The Follow on Fund is also important to ensuring a strong IP position as the technology moves forward.


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Description We developed the first multi-frequency electromangetic system to be used on-line to monitor steel microstructure during production of rod.
Exploitation Route The findings of this project were directly used by our industrial partner to produce a prototype system on a hot strip mill in a subsequent project.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

Description This project built on the electromagnetic sensors and analysis systems researched in two previous EPSRC projects (GR/M89270/GR/M89461 and GR/S45331/GRS45348) to realise a new generation of non-contact electromagnetic systems to monitor microstructural changes on-line during transformations in ferrous systems. The project answered the "proof of concept" questions related to the feasibility of this technology for industrial use. This proejct was able to build confidence within the industry, which was vital to making the next step towards a viable commercial proposition and provide the investment needed for future commercial development and deployment. The project directly led to a relationship with Siemens Metal Technology to deploy a commercial prototype of the system on a full scale hot strip mill.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic

Description Corus UK 
Organisation Tata Steel Europe
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2008