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Chairholder Profile

Joseph McDermid

Joseph McDermid

Department of Mechanical Engineering
McMaster University

Chair Title

NSERC/Stelco Industrial Research Chair in Advanced Coated Steels

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chairs Program


Senior Chairholder since 2003


One of the most efficient ways of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and reducing emissions associated with the greenhouse effect and urban smog is by reducing vehicle mass while maintaining or improving vehicle safety. A cost effective means of accomplishing these objectives is through the use of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) in the body structures, allowing material cross sections to be reduced while maintaining safety. However, thinner steel cross-sections require corrosion protection to satisfy consumer durability expectations and maintain vehicle safety. Continuous galvanizing is the most cost-efficient means of protecting steels against corrosion, but process difficulties arise due to the higher alloy content of AHSS in particular manganese (Mn), silicon (Si) and chromium (Cr) and the propensity for these alloying elements to form oxides on sheet surface during pre-dip annealing, which can result in bare spot defects in the zinc coating.

The second term of McDermid’s Industrial Research Chair (IRC) focussed on defining the interfacial reactions which occur between the oxides on the AHSS in particular MnO and how this oxide phase interacted with the dissolved Al in the galvanizing bath, a full understanding which will allow industry to manage their processes while maintaining coating quality. The IRC also completed studies on the conditions required to successfully galvanize and galvanneal several grades of AHSS, results of which have been directly incorporated into our partner’s operations. The second term of the IRC completed the training of ten highly qualified persons (HQP) for Canadian Industry and contributed thirty-four publications to the technical literature.

The renewal term of the IRC proposes to extend the results of the second term to more complex Mn-Si alloys, including the latest generation of AHSS - the so-called third generation steels. We will also be expanding the scope of the IRC beyond zinc-based coatings to the latest generation of Zn-Al-Mg coatings. The emphasis in this term will be on integrating alloy designs such that they will meet the designed customer properties and be coatable. This presents a novel approach to the alloy design process in the industry where the traditional approach has been top-down with respect to prioritizing mechanical properties. The renewal term of the IRC will train nine HQP for the economically vital Canadian steel industry and provide it with fundamental knowledge concerning the metallic coating of advanced steels, adding to their competitive advantage.


  • Stelco Inc.

Contact Information

Department of Mechanical Engineering
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
JHE Building, Room 316
Hamilton, Ontario
L8S 4L7

Tel.: 905-525-9140, ext. 27476
Fax: 905-572-7944

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