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Advanced modifications of NiHard for ore chute liners

Advanced modifications of NiHard for ore chute liners

Supervisor: Dr Jeff Gates ([email protected])
Application Deadline: 10th March 2019
Scholarship type: Funded MPhil Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The University of Queensland ranks among the world’s top universities, as measured by independent rankings including CWTS Leiden 2017 (35), Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities (41), US News Best Global Universities (45) and Times Higher Education World University Rankings (65). The School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering maintains a world-class reputation at the cutting-edge of engineering education, research and expert consultation across the fields of mechanical, materials, mining, aerospace and mechatronic engineering. The MPhil project will be conducted within the framework of the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Alloy Innovation for Mining Efficiency (mineAlloy), a collaboration between Deakin University, The University of Queensland and Monash University.

NiHard-4 is an in-situ particulate-reinforced composite alloy containing approximately 9%Cr and 6%Ni. Its resistance to abrasive wear in mining industry environments derives from its network of hard Fe-Cr carbides, but this network also makes it susceptible to premature damage by brittle fracture mechanisms. A current MPhil project at UQ is developing a second-generation of alloys, denoted NiHard-6, with improved microstructures, properties and performance achieved through intelligent modification of the alloying element profile. The new MPhil project will take this process further, exploring more advanced approaches to microstructure modification to further enhance service performance. The aim is to develop third-generation alloys, to be denoted NiHard-8.

The performance of the new alloys will be evaluated using UQ’s unique suite of industrially-focused abrasive wear testing machines. UQ’s BMAT and ICAT tests offer high-fidelity reproduction of industrial service environments — elevating their predictive capability from idealised bench-top laboratory status to validated pilot-scale.

The successful candidate will receive training in the technology of abrasive wear in the mining & minerals industries, and will gain exposure to both supplier (manufacturing) and end-user (mining) industries. The topic might have the capacity to be extended from MPhil to PhD scholarship, depending both on the student’s prior qualifications and on performance in the first year of the project.

Advanced modifications of NiHard for ore chute liners


2 Year Scholarship

AU$32,788 / year tax exempt (2019 rate)

International students: Tuition fee and overseas health coverage

Candidates must have an Honours degree or equivalent in Materials Engineering (or related disciplines) and must meet the requirements of admission into the MPhil program. Find out more here.


  • Familiarity with the physical metallurgy of ferrous alloys
  • Well-developed laboratory and practical skills, including safe operation of machinery (OH&S responsibilities and procedures)
  • Demonstrable commitment to good practice in data management
  • Ability to communicate technical concepts and the logical “story” of the project in clear written English. See further details here


  • Previous exposure to foundry technology
  • Ability to operate SEM and EDS instruments
  • Have published at least one journal paper

To apply, complete an online application here, citing the above supervisor and project title. See further details here.

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