Optimisation of next generation galvanising pot hardware

Lead Research Organisation: Swansea University
Department Name: School of Engineering

Abstract

Continuous Galvanising (CG) is an incredibly important manufacturing process used to make car panels, building cladding, white goods and much more. It involves the heat treatment and dipping of strip steel into a bath of molten zinc alloy at speeds of up to 180m/min. Modern automotive grade galvanising lines are increasingly focused on optimising galvanising line hardware to deliver increasing production yields whilst maintain very stringent quality requirements.

A series of submerged rolls guide the strip steel in and out of the molten metal bath. These rolls have to survive in this challenging environment and operate with minimal vibrations, which is detrimental to the galvanised coating quality. The galvanising line is able to continually operate for up to a five-week period, after which the hardware must be replaced. Therefore, the pot hardware itself can be considered a bottleneck to production and quality; if the operational capacity of hardware components were increased the financial incentive and hardware lifetime increases would be significant.

The focus of this project is to consider the next generation of materials, both metallic and ceramic for use as submerged hardware components in Tata Steel Europe's galvanising baths. The project aims to develop pot hardware which will use the latest generation of materials that minimise reactivity with the molten metal spelter. The key learning objectives will be to understand the fundamental reactions between materials and the liquid metal, and to try and suppress these reactions to the point of virtual inertness. This will create a material suitable for novel hardware and roll bearing designs and other hardware coating applications in the galvanising pot.

Research activities will focus primarily on experimental testing of prospective materials with static immersion testing inside molten zinc. The project will also involve full scale dynamic wear testing of components using Swansea University's bespoke new wear testing equipment. For both static immersion and dynamic wear testing, the project will conduct material characterisation to analyse materials and interactions.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/V519601/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2025
2488843 Studentship EP/V519601/1 01/01/2021 31/12/2024 Giovanni Paolo Alparone