CORDIS - EU research results

On line structure monitoring by laser ultrasonics for process control in rolling and heat treatment


The industrial objective is to improve yield and reduce processing costs in rolling and heat treatment operations for a wide range of ferrous and non ferrous alloy families by process control based on on line metallurgical structure monitoring. This will increase the competitiveness of the metal processing industry, decrease energy use and improve the quality of products.

The main technical objective is to research, develop, demonstrate and validate measurement instrumentation based on non contact, laser ultrasonics for determining microstructural parameters crucial to process control and product quality. These include grain size, recrystallisation state, phase content and solution state. The technical and economic feasibility of exploitation will be assessed by kialsilot or production plant for hot and cold rolling of steels and copper and solution treatment of nickel alloy castings. These will be carried out by metal producers from 4 countries of the EU and will serve as demonstrators of the feasibility of application to a wider range of processes and alloys.

The end users will be supported by research organizations bringing special skills in applied physics, microstructural characterization and modeling, non destructive testing, and process metallurgy to the interrelated tasks. The project brings together new scientific and technical developments resulting from current national investments, to provide the springboard for improved energy efficient materials processing.

Prime deliverables will be the demonstration of innovative
microstructural monitoring hardware and software for the above range of processes. Anticipated economic benefits are estimated to be in the range 0.1 1 MECU/metallurgical plant/yr. Energy savings from a 1% yield improvement in hot rolled steel products could be 30 PJ/yr with associated reduction in CO2 emissions of 2 Mte/yr for the EU.
For exploiters within the consortium, the project will generate sufficient know how for the industrial partners to make their own installations, either using in house resources alone or with the aid of subcontracted suppliers. For wider exploitation equipment supply could be via one of the partners or by other suppliers licensed by the project partners to use the relevant hardware or software.

Call for proposal

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AEA Technology Plc.
EU contribution
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552,Harwell 552
OX11 0RA Didcot - Oxfordshire
United Kingdom

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Participants (7)