ASAP - Advanced electromagnetic Sensors for Assessing Property scatter in high value steels

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Metallurgy and Materials

Abstract

The development of new techniques to measure the microstructure of a material in a non-contact non-destructive fashion can lead to a dramatic improvement in the understanding of the material and its behaviour during processing and in-service. This, in turn, can lead to a greater ability to control the material properties and predict the evolution of these properties. At present, the majority of microstructural analysis techniques are destructive and / or require small samples. Consequently, existing techniques are limited in applicability especially if dynamic microstructural control during commercial processing is of interest. Several techniques have been proposed to directly measure microstructures in these situations but, as yet, no single technique offers a full solution. It is well known that the microstructure is directly related to the mechanical properties of steel, therefore if the microstructure can be measured on-line during processing, and the inherent variability in microstructure can be assessed (on-line or off-line), then the mechanical properties (including any scatter) can be inferred. This could provide enormous saving to the manufacturing industry as product quality can be improved through real-time feedback for processing control and / or reduction (or better still elimination) of the off-line destructive mechanical testing for release specifications. In this context, our proposal focuses directly on advanced sensors for measuring the key microstructural parameters that are directly linked to mechanical properties in high value steels.

Our ambition is to exploit novel electromagnetic (EM) techniques to analyse microstructure directly, and therefore to infer mechanical properties, for a range of advanced steel types during and after processing. Typically these EM techniques have included multi-frequency interrogation combined with advanced signal and data processing and modelling. Both the UK and Indian teams have successfully considered the electromagnetic response, using different sensor types, to component phase fractions (such as ferrite), which in the UK has been supported by 3D modelling of both idealised and realistic microstructures. In parallel, the problem of inverting the complex inductance spectra acquired by the sensor systems to yield parameters of metallurgical significance has been addressed, and in India a link between sensor output and mechanical properties for relatively simple steels has been established. In the EU sensor configurations that can be deployed on-line for phase transformation monitoring by measuring the mutual inductance have been successfully tested, in collaboration with Tata Steel Europe, and are now in the process of being commercially exploited via a licensing agreement with an external company. The natural next step in the research is to combine EM sensor techniques to exploit the full electromagnetic characteristics of steel (for example using sensors that measure coercivity, saturation and incremental permeability) to characterise the more complex microstructures, and their spatial inhomogeneity, in advanced steels. This requires collaboration between the leading international groups on sensor design, implementation and microstructure-signal relationships. On-line deployment of these systems will allow greater feedback control during processing to enable these advanced steels to be produced on older as well as new mills. Mechanical property determination, through the microstructure-property relationships, provides the potential to reduce or eliminate the off-line property release tests that are currently performed with a significant saving to the industry.

Publications

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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/K027956/1 01/02/2014 31/08/2014 £304,271
EP/K027956/2 Transfer EP/K027956/1 01/09/2014 31/01/2017 £245,478
 
Description Research to link electromagnetic signals to steel microstructures with the aim to non-destructively evaluate different steels. Fundamental links between magnetic parameters and the different components in the microstructure.
Exploitation Route Working with Manchester University to develop sensors for specific applications with the aim to develop the technology into commercial products for steel inspection.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

 
Title Magnetic Domain Imager with In-situ BH Measurement 
Description A system for dynamic magnetic domain imaging and in-situ BH measurements has been set up. This is believed to be the first time that the in-situ BH measurement can be done during magnetic domain imaging. This system is expected to become a useful tool for fundamental studies and help analysis and interpreting the results by electormagnetic sensors. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Original work has been generated and published on JoVE. 
URL https://www.jove.com/video/56376/optimized-setup-protocol-for-magnetic-domain-imaging-with-situ
 
Description Tata Steel UK 
Organisation Tata Steel Europe
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our contribution is the study of the effects of precipitates on the magnetic properties of ferritic steels. This is useful to interpretation of electromagnetic sensor signals which, in turn, is a useful method for product control and inspection of the Tata steel.
Collaborator Contribution The Swindon Technology Centre has made the model steel we developed.
Impact Model steels were developed and have been used for experimental work. Secondly, a micro-segregation model was implemented for design of the steel. This model can be used to assess micro-segration in other steels too.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Hosting a workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Workshop on Electromagnetic Sensors for Microstructure Evaluation was organized and hosted by Professor Claire Davis at the Advanced Steel Research Centre in WMG. Over 50 people attended the event including representatives from Tata Steel, British Steel, Rolls Royce, GE Power, Primetals, Uniper, Tenaris, TVS Motor Company, Beta Technology, Impact PowerTech Organised Dicksons, National Physics Laboratory, National Metallurgical Laboratory in India and Universities of Warwick (department of Physics and WMG), Manchester and Birmingham. It has been well received. There have been many positive feedbacks and follow-up actions from the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The research fellow Dr Jun Liu working on the project got invited by Dr. Oksana Chubykalo-Fesenko to give a seminar on Magnetic Hysteresis Model Considering Microstructural Feature Distribution for Non-destructive Evaluation of Steel Microstructure at Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM) on 23 September 2016. The audience showed interests to the research asked a few questions and made comments on further extension of the model presented. Future potential collaboration were discussed in the following research meeting with Dr Fesenko.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The research fellow Dr Jun Liu working on the project got invited by Professor Edward Della Torre to give a seminar entitled A Hysteresis Model Considering Microstructural Feature Distribution for Non-Destructive Evaluation of Steel Microstructures at the George Washington University. A number of students and professors attended the seminar.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://browse.calendar.gwu.edu/EventList.aspx?fromdate=1/23/2017&todate=2/21/2017&display=&type=publ...
 
Description Invited Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The research fellow Dr Jun Liu working on the project got invited by Dr Yiming Deng to visit their laboratory and give a talk on Electromangetic Sensors for Microstructural Evaluation at the Michigan State University in the US. We had following research meeting and a lab tour with discussion / questions on the project. We are planning to apply for Nuclear Energy University Programme together in 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017