A PhD scholarship opportunity for a student to study the ferrous burden interaction in the cohesive zone of the ironmaking blast furnace

PhD Scholarship: Understanding ferrous burden interaction in the cohesive zone of the ironmaking blast furnace

Friday, 19 May 2017

A PhD scholarship opportunity is available for a student to study the cohesive zone of ironmaking blast furnace under the supervision of  Tom Honeyands.

The iron and steel industry continues to be an essential contributor to our modern world. And the ironmaking blast furnace is at the heart of this industry.

The properties of the cohesive zone of the blast furnace have a critical influence on stable and efficient blast furnace operation. Many tests are available to simulate the behaviour of ferrous burden material in the blast furnace, however, most tests are applied to a single material type and do not consider the interactions between them.

There are some chemical reactions between sinter, pellet and lump ore during the heating and reducing processes inside the blast furnace, which affects the formation and properties of the cohesive zone. This can have significant implications for the cost competitiveness, energy efficiency and environmental footprint of iron ore products and industrial ironmaking operations.

The PhD will investigate and produce new methods and approaches to evaluate and understand the mechanism of interaction between lump ore, sinter and pellets under simulated blast furnace condition, and predict the impact on blast furnace operation. Mixed burden tests will be carried out in an existing softening and melting furnace under realistic blast furnace working line conditions, as well as bench-scale experiments with binary mixtures of lump-sinter and pellet-sinter to allow detailed examination of the interfaces.

Quenched beds of material will be examined using SEM to investigate the micro-structure and phases of slag, new X-Ray Computer Tomography techniques to study changes in 3D structure and permeability to gas flow, and thermodynamic modelling to calculate high temperature properties of melts produced during the tests.

This research will involve a combination of high temperature experimental investigations and computational modelling analysis, and be carried out working alongside an established team of researchers.

For this reason we encourage any interested candidate that wants to make a significant new contribution in either or both areas to apply.

During the project, the candidate will have the opportunity to liaise with industrial partners, relevant industrial and academic researchers and he/she will have the prospect of travelling nationally/internationally for meetings and conference presentations.


The Iron Ore Hub studentship is for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and provides payment of tuition fees plus an annual stipend of $ 26,682 plus a supplement if applicable.


Domestic and international students with Honours degree in either chemical engineering, materials engineering or metallurgy. English proficiency. Research experience, familiarity with high temperature experiments, optical microscopy, SEM, and thermodynamic modelling would be advantageous.


If you have any questions about your application, please contact Tom Honeyands (tom.a.honeyands@newcastle.edu.au)

Contact: Tom Honeyands
Email: tom.a.honeyands@newcastle.edu.au
Phone: +61 02 4033 9216


Find out more about applying for PhD and research masters at UON