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Development of Innovative Instrumentation and Modelling for 21st Century CNC Machining

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, February 29, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

CNC manufacturing is ubiquitous, with the market for machines approaching $100 billion. With 21st century manufacturing materials comes new problems and the need for us to invent the future of sensors and measurements in these processes. This is an unfilled gap in research that we aim to fill with our exciting, wellfunded EngD programme. Processing parameters significantly affect the properties of finished components. Equipment for in-process measurement of cutting forces has reached a high level of maturity, which has led to a greater understanding of what is occurring at the tool chip interface. However, this has exposed a fundamental lack of understanding regarding temperature profiles within both the cutting tool and the workpiece. Users are currently experiencing unexplained machining problems and we need to find out why. For example, when they try to remove heavy metals from their alloys. This situation becomes worse for the new alloys we are developing, e.g., for the aerospace industry. Temperature measurement of tools and machining surfaces is of great interest because of the heat concentrated in the small contact zone. This accelerates tool wear and leads to many problems, including work surface integrity. The AMRC has considerable experience in turning applications, embedding thermocouples in tools and work pieces and comparing measurements with thermal cameras. Useful results have been achieved; however, thermocouple measurements are far too slow. We have also found some infrared wavelengths where one type of coolant is transparent; in principal, this should provide a route to imaging temperature through these fluids. There is no current solution for the more difficult milling applications, where embedding thermocouples is not possible, camera frame rate must be very high and many other constraints, such as ballistic chips and swarf, complicate the thermal image.

We have devised an exciting new collaborative EngD project that will lead to solving these important problems through a combination of novel in-process optical instrumentation and a deep understanding of the underlying metallurgy. You will be supported through high-quality cohort training in metallurgy from our CDT and an electronic engineering research group currently consisting of five PhD students, four PDRAs and one technician. This training will make you highly attractive to future employers. Your project follows from a recent feasibility study, see: Heeley et. al., 2018 https://doi.org/10.3390/s18103188. Providing solutions will be of great interest to manufacturers and many AMRC partners; including Rolls Royce, BAE and Boeing. This project is supervised by Dr Jon Willmott in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, and by Dr Sabino Ayvar-Soberanis at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield. You will also work closely with the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) in Strathclyde and industrial collaborators. It is expected that you will, therefore, spend time at the University of Sheffield and the AMRC, and other collaborators as required. For more information please contact Dr Jon Willmott () or at the AMRC; Dr. Sabino Ayvar () or Dr. Hatim Laalej().

Funding Notes

Current UKRI stipend plus a top-up of £4,000p.a. for UK and eligible EU students.

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)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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