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Modelling of Plasticity-Microstructure Interaction at a Short Crack Tip


Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

About the Project

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 crystallographic slip 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.

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our , including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more

For further project details, email Liguo Zhao:

To find out more about the MoAM Research Group, please click here: https://www.moamrg.co.uk/

Entry requirements

You should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) 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 and/or physics.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the international website: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/international/apply/english-language-requirements/

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under school/department name, select 'Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering'. Please quote reference LG1UF2018.

The deadline for applications is 01 May 2021.

Funding Notes

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.


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