Bath University in the United Kingdom is one of the leading universities internationally recognized for teaching and research. Dr. Manuch Soleimani works in the department of electronic and electrical engineering, at the helm of a Shell-Thick project that researches steel solidification.
The methods they are working on would refine the process of casting steel. They would be able to accurately see when "defects or fails" occur when steel solidifies.
The process is called induction tomography. It used to see the electromagnetic properties of an object. It is done in non-destructive testing - such as the observing of molten steel before it solidifies - and geophysics.
Soleimani, an associate professor at Bath University, spoke to The Engineer, saying:
"Magnetic induction tomography attempts to image the passive electromagnetic properties of an object by measuring the mutual inductances between pairs of coils placed around its periphery.
Measurements are acquired by passing an alternating current through excitation coils, a primary magnetic field.
This magnetic field interacts with conductive and permeable objects in the medium to produce eddy currents, which, in turn, produce a secondary magnetic field, which is measured by sensing coils.
As the secondary field depends on the materials present, the measured induced voltage is a non-linear function of the electrical and magnetic properties of the medium, that is, conductivity."
The methods they use will look at electrical conductivity and show results of structural composition in the cooling process. The Engineer says that the technique would be able to improve the "quality, safety, productivity, costs and ultimately competitiveness of the UK and EU steel industries".
The UK industries could use any money savers at this point due to a struggling outlook of the future with the steel industry. Soleiman said, "Technology could enable us to be ahead in the production of high-quality steel. Considering the cost of energy here and not having the subsidisation as China has, the only way to compete is having high quality and this is one step."
The current project is in collaboration with Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation in Spain and steel industry companies Ferriere Nord and Ergolines Lab.
Source: The Engineer