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4 year EngD - Investigating the interactions of metalworking fluids and its additives with aerospace alloys (sponsored by Italmatch)


Project Description

Start date: 9 September 2019
Stipend: £18,000 per year plus fees paid at UK/EU rates*.

Project Description

A fundamental knowledge gap has been identified where by current tribological laboratory based tests used in industry (e.g. Reichart, 4-ball, tapping torque) to evaluate the performance of metalworking fluids (MWF) prior to commercial exploitation, has been found to have little to no correlation with real machining processes. Due to this mismatch in performance, this leads to MWF suppliers undertaking costly demonstrator / validation cutting trials to determine the fluids performance.

Italmatch aim to develop an equivalent, low-cost machining based test method within a laboratory environment, which can fundamentally replicate the behaviour or characteristics of production based cutting processes. The fundamental behaviour and results observed from these trials can be later replicated and investigated on actual machining/milling trials.

There remains a gap in the understanding of why and how certain additives increase performance and fluid life within a MWF formulation. In addition, there is a lack in understanding the interactions of MWF additives with materials and surfaces within the cutting zone. Better tool life and surface quality can be achieved using certain additives. It is therefore important to understand the tribochemical and tribological behaviours between additives and surfaces. The ability to characterise and understand these interactions will allow the opportunity to optimise the chemistry of the additive formulation to achieve the best results. There will be an opportunity to analyse and compare tribofilm formation on tribometer test samples and actual cutting inserts. This could also lead to developing cost models to optimise cost along with machining outputs, such as tool life, surface finish, cutting forces.

Funding Notes

Applicants must have, or expect to get, a 1st or high 2:1 degree (or Masters with Merit) in a relevant science or engineering subject such as Aerospace, Mechanical, Civil or Materials Engineering.

*Due to EPSRC residency requirements, this project is open only to UK and EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years immediately preceding the start of the course.

All applicants require an English language qualification, typically a GCSE or an IELTS test (a score of 7 or above is required, with a minimum of 6 in each component).

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Mechanical engineering and Advanced manufacturing

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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