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Multiaxial fatigue assessment of aluminium-to-steel hybrid welded connections

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  • Full or part time
    Prof L Susmel
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The fatigue assessment of mechanical components is a complex problem that has to be addressed properly during the design process to avoid catastrophic failures. In order to understand the impact of fatigue failures on everyday life, it can be recalled that 50% to 90% of mechanical assembly failures are caused by fatigue. Reviews both in the USA and Europe indicate that in-service breakage of components costs around 4% of GNP in industrialised nations. Further, even though the economic cost of fatigue failures is obviously enormous, the price which has to be paid becomes socially unacceptable whenever fatigue breakages result in loss of human lives. In this setting, one of the most difficult challenges faced by those companies designing and manufacturing structural assemblies subjected to in-service fatigue loading is improving their performance by reducing not only the weight, but also the associated production, maintenance and energy costs.
In the structural engineering field, it is well-known to engineers engaged in designing structures and components of any kind that one of the trickiest aspects behind a high-performance mechanical assembly is efficiently joining together its different parts. In this respect, the most critical issue associated with the use of composite materials to manufacture complex lightweight structures is that joining composites to other composites, as well as to other structural materials, is never a simple and economic task. In contrast, metallic materials can easily and efficiently be welded together at relatively low cost. In particular, nowadays, engineers can access different technological processes that have been specifically developed and optimised to manufacture joints not only made of either aluminium or steel, but also to make aluminium-to-steel hybrid connections.
In this challenging scenario, this PhD project aims to formalise and validate, through a systematic experimental investigation, a novel comprehensive methodology suitable for designing against multiaxial fatigue aluminium-to-steel hybrid welded joints manufactured using both primary and recycled aluminium. Owing to the fact that the multiaxial fatigue behaviour of aluminium-to-steel welded connections has never been investigated systematically before, if such a PhD project were implemented successfully, for the first time specific methods suitable for designing such innovative joints would be developed by capturing and applying the scientific knowledge available both in the involved industrial partners and at the University of Sheffield.

The Candidate
• A relevant connection with the UK, usually established by residence - The stipend covers Home fees only.
• An upper second class honours degree, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience equivalent to that level - The successful candidates for this position must hold a good relevant undergraduate or MSc degree (Civil/Structural/Mechanical Engineering, Computational Mechanics, Materials Science).

The successful candidate must start on the 28th of September 2020

Next steps
All enquiries about project, funding mechanism, and application process should be e-mailed to Professor Luca Susmel ([Email Address Removed]) – personal webpage: Application deadline: 15/03/2020.

Funding Notes

This opportunity is available through a Directly Funded Project and is also available to Self-Funded applicants.

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Civil and Construction Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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