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Materials Processing Institute advances capabilities with significant equipment investment

Materials Processing Institute advances capabilities with significant equipment investment


The Advanced Materials Development Centre at the Materials Processing Institute has invested in new equipment,reinforcing its commitment to advancing materials research and development in collaboration with industry partners.

This strategic expansion includes the addition of a bogie hearth furnace, with a state-of-the-art vacuum furnace, press forge, and rolling mill, all scheduled for installation, which further solidifies the role of the Teesside-based Institute as a leader in materials innovation and sustainability.

Following successful commissioning and trials in September, the five-ton bogie hearth furnace is now fully operational adding to the Institute's technological capabilities.

The strategic investment has been made possible through support from Innovate UK as part of the PRISM, a £18m steel and metals sector research and innovation programme being delivered by the Materials Processing Institute with funding provided through Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

This has helped the Institute support industries in accelerating decarbonisation, refining manufacturing processes, and fostering efficiency through digital technologies integration. This initiative also aims to reduce energy consumption and promote the development new technologies for the production of steel and other metals with the potential to revolutionise these sectors.

The bogie hearth furnace, costing more than £70,000 and supplied by Caltherm, is a versatile addition to the Institute's infrastructure, enhancing its capabilities for heat treatment processes such as hardening, annealing, and normalising of materials, particularly metals.

The furnace can efficiently heat materials up to 1200 degrees centigrade in preparation for forging and rolling operations, making it a critical resource for various industrial applications. Furthermore, the furnace boasts a quench tank, enabling subsequent heat treatments and enhancing the overall versatility of the equipment.

Jonathon Stormon, Interim CEO at the Materials Processing Institute, said: "The Advanced Materials Development Centre is at the forefront of delivering cutting-edge technology to support industry.

“The Institute's focus on sustainability within industry has led to this significant equipment investment, which is supporting industry partners to improve processes, accelerate decarbonisation, reduce energy consumption, and develop higher quality materials. This is an exciting step towards a more sustainable and innovative future for our industries.”

Photo Caption: Josh Chuter, Senior Researcher, Peter Barnard, Principal Researcher, and John Fernie, Chief Materials Scientist, with the Institute’s new £70,000 bogie hearth furnace which is capable of efficiently heating materials up to temperatures of 1200 degrees centigrade.

13 December 2023