Nickel-based superalloys are particularly used in applications involving high temperatures and stresses, such as the critical gas-turbine blades and discs in aerospace and power-generation industries. The behaviour of short cracks in nickel superalloys is of particular importance for component design and life prediction, as a large proportion of service life is spent in the growth of small cracks before final failure. This project aims to investigate the fundamental deformation mechanism at the tip of a short crack for nickel-based superalloys under fatigue at a range of temperatures. The research will focus on the influence of evolving local plasticity, induced by dislocation dynamics at the crack tip, on short crack growth. A multi-scale finite element (FE) method will be established for the crack-tip deformation analyses, which aims to identify a micromechanics-based driving force for short crack growth. The ultimate goal is to deliver an efficient finite element procedure to predict short crack growth.
The candidate will join the vibrant Mechanics of Advanced Materials research group at Loughborough University. Low cycle fatigue deformation and in-situ crack growth will be tested at both room and high temperatures, complemented by SEM/TEM characterisation. The results will be used to validate the multiscale models developed in this project. The research outcome will have significance in ensuring structural integrity of gas turbine systems.
Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Biomechanical Engineering, Solid Mechanics, Applied Mathematics, Materials Science, Physics or a related subject.
A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Mechanical Engineering, Biomechanical Engineering, Solid Mechanics, Applied Mathematics, Materials Science, Physics.
How to apply
All applications should be made online. Under programme name select Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Please quote reference number: LG1UF2018
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