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Industry news

Tata Steel and Swansea University open new research institute


The opening marks a new approach to Tata Steel’s UK R&D, with facilities now based at Swansea University and the University of Warwick. Engineers and researchers at the Institute will be working on a range of new materials to meet the emerging need for next-generation steels for hybrid and electric cars, energy-efficient homes and buildings and innovative food packaging.

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The Steel & Metals Institute is the forerunner to the UK National Steel Innovation Centre, which will be funded through the Swansea Bay City deal and is due to be operational by 2020.

Today’s event was attended by Bimlendra Jha, Tata Steel UK’s CEO, and Professor Richard B. Davies, Swansea University’s Vice-Chancellor.

Bimlendra Jha said: “Swansea University, together with the University of Warwick, is part of our two hub strategy for collaborative research and development with universities. Integrating this new facility at Swansea with our existing network of researchers at different universities in UK is a stepping stone to our win-win approach to innovation.

“Researchers get real world problems to solve and Tata Steel brings its expertise and resources to give wings to innovative ideas.”

Tata Steel’s ties with UK academia are already well rooted funding  six professorial chairs at the universities of Warwick, Oxford Brookes, Cambridge, Cardiff and South Wales, and Imperial College London while more than 80 researchers work directly for Tata Steel.

Professor Davies said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Tata Steel. Advanced steels research is crucial for the nation, and for manufacturing. This move shows Tata Steel’s long-term commitment to research and development within the UK.”

Ernst Hoogenes, Tata Steel Europe’s head of R&D, said: "Opening this new R&D centre at Swansea University is a major step towards consolidating and strengthening our R&D in the UK. This will help us accelerate our open innovation activities and will lead to exciting new steels to give our customers a competitive edge.

The new centre will ultimately have a combination of metallurgists, product engineers, data scientists, researchers and technicians. Tata Steel will provide more than 40 industry R&D staff to work alongside 20 new Swansea University research staff. The company has also committed annual funding to contribute to the running of the Institute and donated a wide range of research equipment to the University.

At Tata Steel’s R&D facility based at the University of Warwick engineers and researchers will continue to work on new steel coatings, including graphene, as well as other advanced product development.


For further information: 

Ross Brown on T: +44 (0) 7932 623 820 or

About Tata Steel’s European operations

Tata Steel is one of Europe's leading steel producers, with steelmaking in the UK and Netherlands, and manufacturing plants across Europe. The company supplies high-quality steel products to the most demanding markets, including construction and infrastructure, automotive, packaging and engineering. Tata Steel works with customers to develop new steel products that give them a competitive edge. The combined Tata Steel group is one of the top global steel companies, with an annual steel capacity of 27.5 million tonnes and almost 74,000 employees across five continents. The group’s revenue in the year ending March 2017 was $18.1 billion.

Professor Philip Beckley

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear friend and colleague, Philip Beckley, on 10 June 2016.  Philip worked in the electrical steels industry for almost 40 years and his contribution to the technology earned him
international renown.

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Philip was born on 25 May 1936 in Parkend, UK. He attended Monmouth School before joining the RAF, where he developed an interest in radio and radar. In 1957, he went to the University of Southampton, UK, where he obtained an honours degree in General Science and met his wife-to-be, Mary.

Following graduation in 1960, he joined the Steel Company of Wales at Orb Works, Newport, as a trainee metallurgist. He was soon appointed Senior Physicist and then Principal Research Officer. In 1983, Philip became Manager Technical and Research at the plant. He continued to hold this post after the formation of European Electrical Steel. In 1995, he was awarded the Stokowiec Medal for his work on high alloy silicon steels. After retiring in 1996, Philip continued to work as a consultant until 2007.

In 1969, he was awarded a PhD by Cardiff University, UK, for his thesis, Some aspects of the relationship between loss, domain wall motion and ageing in grain oriented silicon iron, and was later awarded a DSc by the University of Southampton. In 1972, he was appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. Five years later, he was appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Metals and of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. On his retirement he was made an honorary life member of the UK Magnetics Society.

Philip was a Visiting Professor at Cardiff University. He was a member of industrial
advisory committees and stimulated student interest in industrial magnetic materials
through a range of lectures and demonstrations. He maintained a close relationship
with staff and students at the Wolfson Centre for Magnetics, providing professional
advice to staff and mentoring postgraduate students.  Philip was passionate about developing young students into materials scientists and engineers. He was heavily involved in the Teaching Company Scheme, which enabled new graduates to progress to a doctorate from Cardiff University by undertaking an industrial research project based at Orb Works.

He was also a natural entertainer – who could forget his lecture to the UK
Magnetics Society where he wore steel-plated-boots and used an electromagnet to
suspend himself upside down to demonstrate the strength of the magnetic field and
the concept of magnetic permeability? School children at the talk were mesmerised. He was also a source of encouragement to the children that came to Orb Works for work experience and was delighted to see some return as graduate trainees.
Philip gained a reputation as an internationally renowned technical expert. Regularly
presenting papers at national and international conferences, he also represented the
industry on the British Standards Committees and the International Electrotechnical
Commission Committees on Magnetic Alloys and Steels.

Philip led a full life outside of work. He was a family man, had an antique wireless
collection and authored two technical books. He was also an active committee member of the Newport and District Materials Society and served as President from 2000–2002.  Philip showed great enthusiasm for whatever he did. He was well liked and his technical expertise earned him the respect of his peers. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends and the world of magnetics and electrical steels.
He leaves his wife Mary, children Kate and Peter and grandsons, Tom and Danny.

Tata Steel amongst 100 most valuable brands in 2014

Tata Steel features among the 100 Most Valuable Brands 2014, according to World Consulting & Research Corporation.  Tata Steel has piorneered several new initiatives to benefit its customers through various products and service inovations creating a legacy of serving as we have been doing for the past 100 years.

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Eddy Currents

Magnetic cores of electrical machines are constructed from laminations of magnetic steel core material alloyed with silicon to minimise the hysteresis and eddy current losses for high-efficiency operation. Since the magnetic cores are exposed to time-varying magnetic fields, eddy currents are induced in the laminations and consequently, energy is converted into heat in the resistance of the eddy current path.

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The laminations are coated with insulation material on either side to prevent electrical conduction between the sheets. However, punching and cutting of the electrical steel to the required dimension can cause edge burr which are one of the most serious obstacles to precision and process automation.

Burrs have to be removed by a de-burring process for functional and technical reasons after the blank has been sheared or stamped as the cut edge burrs could lead to short circuits between adjacent laminations. However, if edge burrs appear between two blanks of the magnetic core on one side only, it does not tend to create a closed current path, and therefore no change in the total iron loss of the core occurs.

However, if the same two blanks are short-circuited on both sides, a closed conductive path will be available which leads to a larger section for the flow of inter-laminar eddy current that will cause eddy current losses.