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Novel metallic alloys for fire resistant concrete composites (Advert Reference: SF19/EE/MCE/SANCHEZ)

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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Dr S Gonzalez Sanchez , Dr Brabha Nagaratnam , Assoc Prof Keerthan Poologanathan Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Concrete can be reinforced with a range of metallic materials among which steel is frequently used for its high strength at room temperature, however, the mechanical properties of carbon steel decreases beyond 300°C. The strength decreases even faster beyond 300°C (Lawson & Newman, 1990) and exhibit creep beyond 450°C. For this reason there is a need for novel metallic materials that can keep its performance for extended temperature range. In this regards, shape memory materials (SMAs) are of great potential for civil engineering applications (Chan & Araki, 2016) since they undergo large deformations and return to their un-deformed shape through stress removal or heating. In addition they exhibit good hysteretic damping properties and therefore could be of interest to enhance the structural and fire performance of buildings. One aim of this project is to develop novel cost-effective SMAs that can compete with more traditional metallic materials for their use in construction.

This project is supervised by Dr Sergio Gonzalez Sanchez.

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/EE/MCE/SANCHEZ) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2020 or 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project.


F. De Luca, P. Nnamchi, A. Younes, A. T. Fry, S. González. Stress-induced martensitic transformation of Cu50Zr50 shape memory alloy optimized through microalloying and co-microalloying. J. Alloys Compd. 751 (2019) 337-343.

Strength and microstructural characteristics of palm oil fuel ash and fly ash as binary and ternary blends in Self-Compacting concrete. BH Nagaratnam, MA Mannan, ME Rahman, AK Mirasa, A Richardson. Construction and Building Materials 202, 103-120 (3) 2019

A pozzolanic supplementary material to reinforce class G cement used for drilling and completion operations K Abid, R Gholami, M Tiong, B Nagaratnam, M Sarmadivaleh, M Mostofi. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 177, 79-92 (2) 2019

A Proposed Performance Based Approach for Life Cycle Assessment of Reinforced Blended Cement Concrete. H Hafez, WM Cheung, B Nagaratnam, R Kurda. Kingston University 3 (5), 50-61 (2019)

Review on Fire Performance of Cellular Lightweight Concrete. IR Upasiri, KMC Konthesingha, K Poologanathan, SMA Nanayakkara. International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment, 470-478 2019

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