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(EPSRC Advanced Metallic Systems CDT) Improving Tolerance of Aluminium Alloys to Impurity Elements

   Department of Materials

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  Prof J Robson  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project sits within the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Advanced Metallic Systems - a distinct research centre formed by a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester and the I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Centre, Dublin. Our doctoral students undertake a different doctoral programme, which includes a compulsory intensive technical and professional skills training programme throughout the 4-year project. For more information on our training programme content, aimed at converting graduates from a non-materials topic into metallurgy, please review our website (linked below).

This project is based at the Department of Materials at the University of Manchester, and is sponsored by Novelis. We are seeking a UK national with a 2.1 or 1st class degree in a STEM discipline.

Aluminium alloys are lightweight and recyclable. This makes them attractive for applications such as transport and packaging, where more sustainable materials solutions are in demand. Although recycling of aluminium is widespread, it has several metallurgical challenges. One challenge is that impurity elements tend to increase with recycling. Novelis, the world leader in aluminium sheet and recycling, is seeking to increase the recycled content of its products. This involves designing and processing alloys to be more tolerant of impurities. This, in turn, demands a better fundamental understanding of how these impurities influence the development of the aluminium alloy microstructure during processing.

This project will focus on three commercially important aluminium alloys from the 3xxx, 5xxx, and 6xxx series. These find application in can-stock, automotive body panels, and other applications. Impurity levels will be systematically varied. The effect on the microstructural evolution through the process cycle of homogenization, rolling, and annealing will be investigated. This understanding will be used to develop processing conditions that are optimized for alloys with high impurity levels and therefore tolerant of highly recycled content.

You will use advanced high resolution electron microscopy and other methods to characterize the grain structure and second phase particles at each process step. This will be used to understand the relationships between recycled content, process conditions, microstructure, and hence performance. The project will also involve gaining experience in the industrial processing of metals, mechanical testing, and computer simulation methods.

You will join the Centre for Light Alloy Research and Innovation (CLARI), a team of over 20 PhD students and researchers working on light alloys. The group runs regular seminars and social events in addition to those provided through the Centre for Doctoral Training. You will also have an opportunity to spend time at Novelis, gaining industrial experience in Europe (Switzerland or Germany).

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems is a partnership between industry and the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester and I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Centre, Dublin. CDT students undertake a 4-year doctorate with an in-depth compulsory technical and professional skills training programme. Please review our training programme, application process and full entry requirements at https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/metallicscdt. Please note, application is only via the University of Manchester (see website), and general enquiries can be made to the CDT :

For more information on the research scope of the project please contact Joe Robson at [Email%20Address%20Removed]

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

All appointments are made on merit.

Please note that this project will close before the advertised end date if a suitable applicant is secured. We suggest that you do not delay submitting your application.

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year PhD studentship covering fees and stipend (£17,668 in 2022-23) plus £5000 per year top-up. Funding will cover UK tuition fee and stipend only. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of scholarships that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.
Open ended until a suitable candidate is recruited
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