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Innovate surface treatment and coatings for thermal power plant components


   EPSRC CDT in Resilient Decarbonised Fuel Energy Systems

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  Dr T Hussain  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Aim: To improve the performance and life span of components used in power plants by means of surface treatment and coatings to understand the failure mechanisms induced by thermal cycling, corrosion and wear.

The UK was the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-becomes-first-major-economy-to-pass-net-zero-emissions-law This ambitious target towards zero net emissions, or “carbon neutrality”, will be pursued in this 30 years timespan through promoting reforestation, carbon capture and storage, but also by transitioning to renewable energy while enhancing current power plants efficiency.

The transition towards renewable energy leads an overall lower demand to existing power plants, but at the same time this demand is concentrated within shorter and intermitted time frames, due to the intermittent nature of for instance solar and wind energy supply. Therefore, power plants which were designed to operate continuously are being demanded increased flexibility in intermittent operation, posing some parts to unexpectedly frequent thermal cycling leading to parts failure.

The goal of this PhD project is to improve the performance and life span of components used in power plants by means of surface treatment and coatings to understand the failure mechanisms induced by thermal cycling, corrosion and wear. This project will focus on developing and testing a range of suitable surface treatments by advanced coating deposition through a novel suspension plasma spray for high temperature components including valves, heat exchangers and boiler parts.

The project will involve the commissioning of testing rigs, requiring design, assembling and computer controlling of the necessary components. The test rig will allow us to understand coating performance under real service operating conditions as informed by BF2RA industrial partners. Material characterisation will include advanced techniques as high-resolution scanning and transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy.

Close collaboration with BF2RA industrial partners will allow the candidate to work on and solve real life problems making an impact on current and future power plant technologies.

Find out more at:

http://www.resilient-decarbonised-energy-dtc.ac.uk/

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/cse/index.aspx

Funding Notes

The position is only open to EU and UK candidates due to funding restrictions. The candidate must have at least a UK 2.1 class degree in materials/mechanical/ manufacturing engineering, or in a relevant discipline. We are committed to diversity and we are keen to hear from candidates who are under-represented in research. The University of Nottingham offers leading experimental facilities in thermal spray and mechanical testing at Coatings and Surface Engineering Group, and materials characterisation at the Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre (nmRC).
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