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Next Generation Aero-Engine Sealing Technologies

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project is in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, and will carried out within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield

In aero-engine design, ensuring gas flow is not lost through leakage, is an essential requirement for efficient performance and low specific fuel consumption, and is achieved by having very tight clearances between static and rotating parts. This requirement is met for rotating blades and shafts by using abradable linings. These linings are used throughout the engine, and for example in the compressor, are used on the inside of the casing, allowing tight clearances whilst providing a soft material for the blades to incur into, should the blades come into contact with it as the engine flexes during flight.

However, even with the use of abradable linings, leakage from seals still occurs. The aim of this studentship is to investigate the use of fin seals on shafts, at the heart of the engine where power is transferred from the turbine to compressor and fan. Specifically, the project will look at the wear mechanisms present for different combinations of fin and seal materials, and the role these have in determining how efficiently the seal functions.

Testing will be undertaken on a novel high-speed test platform for abradable linings at the University, within a team of four existing PhD students researching different aspects of abradable materials. This studentship is closely aligned to a range of on-going Rolls-Royce development programmes leading to a close working relationship, and will involve regular meetings with Rolls-Royce stakeholders.

Candidate Profile

This studentship is available to home or EU students. You should have, or be expected to achieve, a first or upper second class UK honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science or related discipline.
Further Information

The main supervisor on this project will be Prof. Matt Marshall, with additional guidance provided by the Surface Engineering group within Rolls-Royce. For further information about this studentship please email Matt Marshall ().

To apply please use our standard on-line PhD application form, and indicate on your form that you are replying to this advert, or email for further guidance on applying.

Funding Notes

This studentship covers the cost of tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend of £17,000 per annum, for a period of 3 years and is only available to home or EU students.

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