Project title: Development of a novel
temperature history indicator based on phase transformation and
The idea of this project is built on a previous invention by Professor Lai
and co-workers called Feroplug, which was patented
in USA, UK and Europe
by the British Technology Group. The Feroplug is a
piece of specially designed duplex stainless steel which undergoes a phase
transformation at elevated temperatures. The current idea is new and involves
the use of two or more Feroplugs with different
transformation kinetics to determine the temperature history of an object
which had experienced a simple thermal cycle. The technique can be
supplemented with a later development of the Feroplug
called Sigmaplug and with Professor Lai and co-workers?recent research results
that the grain growth characteristics of nano-particles
of tin dioxide can be used to indicate temperature. In the latter case the
project lies in the exciting new field of nanotechnology.
Unlike thermocouples, no cables or wires are needed in this new technique,
making it particularly suitable for objects that need to be moved. It also
does not have the disadvantage of techniques such as pyrometry
that the result is affected by the surface emissivity of the object which can
vary according to the extent of corrosion upon exposure to high temperature
environments, or by the presence of particles in the light path between the
object and the radiation detector.
It is expected that this project will contribute to the development of an
innovative product with wide applications, particularly in industrial heat
treatment furnaces. An international local company with a plant in Hong Kong is interested in this technique with a view
to enhancing quality assurance in the heat treatment of metal slabs. Students
taking this project may have the opportunity to gain some industrial
experience by involving with collaborative plant trial experiments to be
carried out at this company.
Prof Joseph K L Lai (email@example.com)/
Dr C H Shek (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Suitable for: M.Phil./Ph.D.