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Aqueous Erosion-Corrosion Studies of nanoscale multilayer PVD coatings

  • Full or part time

    Prof P Hovsepian
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Solid particle erosion-corrosion of surfaces is highly destructive in nature and leads to deleterious effects such as loss of material, efficiency and economic losses. The damage caused by the combined effect of erosion and corrosion is always more than just the mathematical addition of damages caused by erosion and corrosion separately. Major industrial sectors suffering from this phenomenon include oil and gas, energy generation, marine, automobile, aero-space industry and many more. The surfaces designed to resist this combined phenomenon must posses high wear and corrosion resistance, but also a synergy between these properties to counter material removal mechanisms. There is a big demand to find new ways/ approaches to protect surfaces.

Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) techniques have the ability to deposit coatings with tailored properties according to the application; either in the form of single layer thin coatings (few microns) with desired wear resistance or corrosion resistance or in the form of nanoscale multilayer coatings where a combination of properties (hardness, engineered toughness, controlled stress and corrosion resistance) can be achieved. Preliminary studies on nanoscale multilayer coatings have shown promising results in terms of providing effective erosion-corrosion ad, cavitation erosion resistance. Thus, PVD coatings have a huge potential to replace traditional methods such as electroplating and surface hardening treatments used for protecting parts and components.

This project deals will deal with studying a range of PVD coatings for its behaviour against the combined phenomenon of solid particle erosion in corrosive atmospherse. Cr and Nb based PVD coatings with various microstructural manipulations and with a range of deposition techniques will be tested for their resistance. The project includes establishing an impinging jet erosion-corrosion apparatus for desired operating conditions. Erosion-corrosion studies will be conducted at a range of abrasive slurry velocities with simultaneous recording of corrosion activities taking place on the surface. The aim of the project is to investigate various mechanisms responsible for coating degradation. Advanced analytical techniques such as electron microscopy (SEM, TEM, FIB), Atomic force microscopy (AFM), XRD, nano-indentation and tribometer and micro-abrasion tester will be used to investigate the relation between the microstructure, mechanisms acting and erosion-corrosion performance of the coatings.


The Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) is a dynamic interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to addressing industrial problems through the application of fundamental science and engineering. For information about MERI please visit https://www.shu.ac.uk/research/specialisms/materials-and-engineering-research-institute

Application deadline: applicants accepted all year round with enrolments during September, February (January on website) and May

Duration: 4 years full time, 7 years part time.

Funding Notes


Funding Status: there is no funding attached to this project. The applicant will need to fund their own tuition fees, research costs and living expenses.

For information about how to apply, entry requirements, tuition fees and other costs please visit View Website

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