Szymon Kubal, a process technology specialist for Tata Steel developed new technology to monitor molten steel whilst he was a research fellow at Swansea University.
Currently in steelmaking, production is halted while disposable probes are immersed into the molten metal to measure temperature and take samples. This is inefficient as it takes up time, requires expensive probes and reduces productivity.
So the technology developed by Dr Kubal uses laser beams projected into the molten furnace bath to monitor the contents continually and means that production no longer needs to stop.
This new technology allows steelmakers to monitor in real time the temperature and chemical composition in molten metal furnaces, improving the operating efficiency of the steel works saving Tata Steel up to £4.5 million a year and reducing the amount of CO2 emissions relative to what was previously produced for the same amount of steel made.
By working with Tata Steel UK Dr. Kubal and the team from Swansea University were able to prepare and undertake full-scale trials and test their innovation in an operational steel plant under production conditions.
Kubal-Wraith Ltd, a Swansea University spin-out company set up by Dr Kubal, is now is developing the technology commercially.