Tata Steel (TS) UK’s hollow section business manufactures square and rectangular tubes for the construction, lifting and excavating markets.
A key ‘high-value’ differentiating product line behind Tata’s strategy to secure UK steel operations, tubes are often used for applications where the cosmetic appearance of the tube is as critical as tube strength.
This project will investigate a system which is capable of measuring, quantifying and categorising surface finish for square and rectangular hollow sections and which is capable of operating on-line in a hostile mill environment.
An online measurement system will require novel and innovative approaches to achieve high measurement resolution and throughput within TS UK’s hostile manufacturing environment, and to compensate for pit occlusion by residual mill scale.
TS UK and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) propose a feasibility study and technology demonstration for surface inspection of square-section tubes, a significant first step towards in-process quality control for tube production.
Project success is expected to unlock further collaborative investment for this critical product line, and translation to other applications.
This project would expand NPL’s dimensional surface metrology expertise and problem-solving into an important and high profile UK industry.