New partnership between Tata Steel and the EPSRC will focus on developing innovative materials for extreme environments

Partnership to study graphene-coated materials

Development of applications for extreme environments using graphene-coated steels will be the focus of a newly formed research partnership between Tata Steel and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Graphene, a widely praised wonder material, is believed to have the potential to revolutionise industries starting with electronics to construction. Apart from graphene, the partnership will focus on other applications for extreme environments, developing sensors capable of operating in very high temperatures or aggressive chemical environments.

“Our customers want us constantly to develop new and more sophisticated products that will help them overcome their challenges, now and in the future,” said Debashish Bhattacharjee, Group Director for R&D at Tata Steel. “We also need to develop new manufacturing processes to support product development. Our partnership with EPSRC will broaden and enhance our research capabilities, helping to speed up the achievement of these objectives.”

The collaboration should help advance understanding of metallurgical and chemical properties and processes, giving Tata Steel access to a wider network of world-class experts.

“EPSRC is proud to be working in partnership with Tata Steel and this agreement will strengthen the relationship further,” said Professor David Delpy, EPSRC Chief Executive. “Research across our portfolio has significant impacts in areas in which Tata Steel operates. The company is already investing in joint research projects with UK universities and Centres for Doctoral Training. These relationships will develop the processes and people the UK needs to perform well in the scientific and economic arena."

The partners will work together on long-term research, postgraduate training and knowledge exchange in a number of different pre-defined areas.

A research partnership agreement was signed earlier this month in the presence of the Rt Hon Vince Cable, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, and the Chief Executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, Karl Koehler. It outlines ways in which Tata Steel and EPSRC can maximise the benefits from engaging British universities in research projects.

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