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Development of multi-scale in situ approaches to understand hydrogen embrittlement of engineering alloys at cryogenic temperatures


   EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Project Abstract

Hydrogen is an essential part of the future of net zero emissions. Cryogenic tanks and distribution pipes are used to store and transport/distribute liquified hydrogen at cryogenic temperatures as demonstrated in space industry and will be used in future hydrogen economy.

Understanding hydrogen embrittlement of structural alloys is key for the safe use of hydrogen. The aim of this PhD project is to gain an enhanced understanding of hydrogen embrittlement at cryogenic temperatures of advanced materials via multi-scale in situ mechanical testing methodologies. The proposed research involves the development and implementation of new in situ hydrogen charging and mechanical characterization tools and methods. The results from the work will have continuously positive impact on the green growth of the UK’s economy.

Detailed Project Description

The hydrogen-assisted embrittlement is a well-known concern that weakens the cryogenic tanks and pipes. Hydrogen embrittlement has been studied extensively at room temperatures and in situ approaches have been proved to be very useful and allow new understanding about hydride formation and crack propagation during hydrogen charging [1]. However, limited work has been carried out at cryogenic temperatures. The aim of this PhD project is to gain an enhanced understanding of hydrogen embrittlement at cryogenic temperatures of advanced metallic materials via developing multi-scale in situ mechanical testing methodologies. The group at the University of Birmingham has extensive experiences in multi-scale in situ mechanical testing at cryogenic temperatures. We have used the approaches to study deformation mechanism of high entropy alloys and advanced steels at cryogenic temperatures [2]. The work in this project is expected to provide new insights into hydrogen embrittlement and hydrogen induced microstructural changes in advanced alloys such as high Mn steels, or aluminium and titanium alloys for cryogenic applications.


Funding Notes

o Must be a UK national
o Must be able to start by end March 2023

References

[1] J. Kim, D. Hall, H. Yan, Y. Shi, S. Joseph, S. Fearn, R.J. Chater, D. Dye, C.C. Taşan. Roughening improves hydrogen embrittlement resistance of Ti-6Al-4V. Acta Materialia, 220 (2021) 117304
[2] L. Tang, L Wang, M Wang, H Liu, S Kabra, Y Chiu, B Cai*. Synergistic deformation pathways in a TWIP steel at cryogenic temperatures: In situ neutron diffraction. Acta Materialia 200, 943-958

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