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Development of non-destructive evaluation methods for the determination of machining deformation of high-performance Ni-based superalloys

   Department of Materials Science and Engineering

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

About the Project

An exciting interdisciplinary opportunity at the cutting-edge of academia and industry working across both the Materials Science and Engineering department and the renowned Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and making use of world leading large scale national and international facilities for synchrotron diffraction. The project is sponsored by Sandvik, Seco Tools and Rolls-Royce plc, and working closely with all industrial partners aims to develop a non-destructive tool for the evaluation of deformation during machining operations. 

Machining operations are vital in the manufacturing of engineering components and the overall deformation due to machining imparted onto the final part is critical for determining the safe-life of the component. To date, in order to minimise the risk of excess deformation on the part, tools are frequently replaced, significantly adding to the overall cost of component manufacture. The intervals at which tools are replaced are determined from a trial-and-error approach and destructive experimentation on components post-machining. Due to the destructive nature of testing and the associated cost, such trials are limited and result in statistically flawed tool-lives to be obtained. In addition, the trials provide an estimation of the amount of deformation on components post-machining, hence further adding an error that requires risk-mitigation and inadvertently results in reducing the calculated component lifetime. 

Consequently, over the past few years, efforts have concentrated on the development of methodologies that can be used to non-destructively evaluate machining deformation. A method developed at the AMRC (patent application GB1906037.5) that has exhibited considerable promise is the use of X-ray diffraction that has been shown to qualitatively determine machining deformation. This project aims to build upon the existing body of work at the AMRC to develop this methodology further to allow the quantitative evaluation of deformation on Ni-based superalloy components with the ultimate aim of developing a process that can be integrated onto machining rigs providing real-time data of deformation accumulation. The project will hence result in significant cost savings to be realised as tool-life will be determined in real-time, whilst also providing an accurate measure of deformation further aiding in the data-driven transformation of manufacturing processes. 

Person specification

The successful candidate will: have a masters level degree in a STEM discipline, experience with laboratory work, a strong interest in materials science and diffraction theory, be self-motivated, proactive and a good communicator.

For more information on the research scope of the project please contact Dr Kathy Christofidou at . To find out more about the group and our please have a look at the Modern AlChEME Group Website.

Funding Notes

The project is funded for a UK Home-qualified student, with a stipend at the UKRI rate, and Home tuition fees, for a duration of 3.5 years.

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