Tees-based research and innovation centre the Materials Processing Institute has continued to strengthen its ties with international steel producers, as part of a collaborative £500,000 research project.
The Institute has partnered with the University of Leicester and TWI to support Chinese steel manufacturer Nanjing Iron and Steel Company’s (NISCO).
The project forms part of a £2m investment by NISCO at the University of Leicester in creating a UK-based steel research activity.
The collaboration aims to develop technology that can control the solidification process during the casting of very thick semi-finished steel products at NISCO’s production line, and improve productivity by reducing the segregation and porosity in these materials.
NISCO is a world leading steel manufacturer, which is based in Nanjing, the capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province.
The research project follows a joint call for R&D between Innovate UK and the Jiangsu Science and Technology Department, which forms part of the Jiangsu-UK Industrial Challenge programme that aims to stimulate economic growth in China.
The Materials Processing Institute recently welcomed delegates from NISCO to its Tees campus for a tour of its facilities and to discuss the research project.
It builds on previous visits to the institute and research partnerships with a number of international steel giants, including thyssenkrupp, British Steel and Liberty House Group.
The UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, has allocated up to £5m to fund projects in the programme, with the Institute successful in winning support for the joint development project.
The Jiangsu Science and Technology department is also funding eligible partners from the Jiangsu province, as all projects involved in the programme must involve at least one UK business and one from the province.
MPI CEO Chris McDonald said: “The collaborative expertise and industry knowledge between the Institute, the University of Leicester and TWI will prove to be an effective partnership that will add real value to the research project, and support the wider Industrial Challenge programme.”
Yixin Huang, chair of the NISCO board, added: “A NISCO branded Research Centre has been established at the University of Leicester in collaboration with TWI and the Materials Processing Institute.
“The centre will focus on research and development activities in a number of areas where our UK collaborators’ expertise can be deployed in areas of mutual interest.
“It will help NISCO achieve industrial upgrading and high quality development. At the same time, it also helps the University of Leicester and British research institutions to industrialization of scientific and technological achievements as soon as possible.”
• Pictured above (left to right): Professor Hong Dong, University of Leicester, Chris McDonald, CEO, Materials Processing Institute, Yixin Huang, chair of NISCO board, Alan Scholes, chief technology officer, Materials Processing Institute, and Juefei Chu, chief engineer, NISCO.