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Rationalisation of steel grades and specifications

One of the adverse consequences of dissipative use of metallic materials is that there are currently thousands of grades of metallic materials in commercial use today. Many of them differ only slightly in composition, processing conditions or origin of production, offering essentially the same performance. Unnecessary alloying elements and excessively tight alloy specifications increase production costs, reduce resource productivities, cause more environmental damage, and make the end-of-life products difficult (if not impossible) to recycle. This is not compatible with CE principles. Recycling can be improved significantly with materials rationalised and products engineered from the start for this purpose. For instance the current 3,500 grades of steels (WSA) can be reduced to 50-100 without compromising engineering applications.

This project aims to rationalise alloy grades and specifications of steels to facilitate full metal circulation. The project contributes to slowing the resource loop by design for standardisation and compatibility.

The specific research activities include:

  • (1) simplification of alloy systems based on their compositions, thermomechanical history, levels of performance and fields of application;
  • (2) standardisation of alloy compositions by using commonly available alloying elements and avoiding the recyclability-limiting elements;
  • (3) optimisation of thermomechanical treatment procedures for high performance; and
  • (4) development of new alloy specifications.

The funding amount is £88,919 for a 4-year duration. 


The successful candidate is required to have a first-class or upper second-class honour degree in metallurgy, materials science or related field of physical science or engineering, etc. A Master’s level qualification is desirable but not essential.

How to apply

Please email (1) an up-to-date CV, (2) a single-page (A4), single-spaced personal statement setting out why you are interested in undertaking this project, (3) names and contact details of three referees, and (4) a copy of your highest degree certificate and transcript to hamid.assadi@brunel.ac.uk