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Advancing Gear Oil Insights - tribofilm and subsurface correlation focusing on ashless versus organometallic chemistries


Project Description

The CDT in Advanced Metallics is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester and the I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Centre, Dublin. CDT students undertake the CDT training programme at all three locations throughout the 4-year programme.

Gear Oil and lubrication fundamentals; investigating tribofilm character and subsurface metallurgy related to the use of metallic and non-metallic additive systems.

High performance industrial gear oils range in application and severity of operation across mining and manufacturing through to energy efficient wind turbines where in service reliability and longevity are key to product performance. Here the gear oil has to provide extremely high levels of surface protection to rolling and sliding contacts over a range of environmental operating conditions. Understanding the surface and sub-surface impact of the additive systems in-use is a key requirement to underpin long term product development of new gear oil systems. Research plays a key role in advancing our understanding of the role that new and existing additive technologies and combinations play in severe loading contact conditions and their impact on the initiation of surface and subsurface metallurgical defects.

This PhD project will be run through the Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Materials Systems and presents a 4 year PhD opportunity within the International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM) at Manchester University. Working alongside a major, global branded lubricant supplier as an industrially sponsored study the student will be charged with investigating the surface mode of action for a range of additive combinations to critique the impact of metallic and ashless (metal free) additive technologies within a range of product platforms and to understand the surface role of the additives in the formation and resilience of the tribofilm. The deliverable will be the ability to predict the surface behaviour and activity in varying tribological contact conditions and relate this performance to the sub-surface metallurgical condition under different lubricants and test conditions.

This project will be interdisciplinary in nature allowing the candidate to develop their skills within a broad research area. Whilst some chemical knowledge is desirable knowledge of mechanical engineering and a willingness to learn and engage in interdisciplinary research will be essential. This would include; tribology, mechanical engineering and testing, metallurgy, surface science, surface and sub-surface analysis and x-ray imaging.

Candidate should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum classification 2:1 honours degree (or higher) in Mechanical Engineering, Materials science, Chemistry or Materials Engineering

Funding Notes

Current UKRI PhD stipend (£15,009 in 2019/20) plus a top-up of £2,500p.a. in Year 1 and £3,500p.a. in years 2, 3 and 4, for UK and eligible EU students

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