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Coupled homogenization and precipitation kinetics during additive manufacture and processing

Project Description

The additive manufacture of metal alloys through powder processing is an exciting field where the potential benefits to industry are numerous and the scientific problems are challenging. The process is complicated by the rapid rate of melting and solidification and the stochastic interaction between the heat source and powder. The resulting microstructure is heterogeneous with strong anisotropy.

The additive manufacture of precipitate strengthened alloys such as Nickel-based superalloys are particularly challenging as the chemical segregation that develops in AM conditions result in undesirable anomalous precipitation kinetics. Careful post heat treatment is required to obtain a homogeneous precipitate dispersion. The size and spatial arrangement of the precipitates impact mechanical properties and is important when considering yield, creep, and fatigue properties.

This work aims to develop accurate descriptions of precipitation that is coupled with the formation and homogenization of the chemical segregation.

The main application of the developed model will be the design and optimization of post-processing steps for a given additive manufactured nickel-based superalloy.

To meet this objective, a computation materials engineering framework will be developed that couples fluid dynamics descriptions of liquation and solidification stages of the process to finite element modelling of heat transfer to determine the boundary conditions for the formation of chemical segregation and precipitation. Interface tracking as well as statistical models of precipitate evolution will be used to study their kinetics.

This PhD project is funded by the University of Sheffield and aligned to the MAPP EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hub, as a project within the cross-cutting theme of Modelling, Optimization and Control. MAPP provides access to advanced 3D printing facilities with state of the art process control and monitoring. The work also has the opportunity to utilize advanced characterization methods available within the Royce Centre, where the University of Sheffield is the lead partner in the Advanced Metals Processing research theme.

Funding Notes

Funding covers home tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of at least the Research Council minimum for eligible UK and EU applicants for 3.5 years. EU nationals must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme to be eligible for a full award (fees and stipend).

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?
Materials Science and Engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.80

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

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