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NSIRC237 PhD Studentship (Sponsored by TWI Ltd) – Repair of high strength corrosion resistant alloys using laser assisted cold spray

Project Description

Institution National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC)
PhD Supervisor Tanvir Hussain University of Nottingham
Application Deadline Open throughout the year
Funding Availability Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)


Cold spray is a technique where materials can be deposited by injecting powder particles into a high velocity, inert gas stream. When fast moving particles impact a substrate, high strain rate deformation occurs, breaking oxide layers and resulting in metallic bonding between particle and substrate. When conditions are optimised, high density, high strength deposits can be created. This technology is increasingly being considered for use in the repair of structural components across a range of industry sectors (e.g. aerospace, marine, offshore and power generation). As material can be deposited directly from powder with no melting/solidification, oxygen-sensitive materials can be sprayed without any special precautions. Many of the challenges (residual stress, distortion, weld microstructures, etc) that arise when using fusion-based techniques are minimised, enhancing the safety of the repair operation. However, cold spray deposition of high strength, corrosion resistant alloys (CRAs) remains a challenge and often mechanical properties of such deposits are poor. This PhD will investigate using hybrid laser-cold spray techniques to modify deformation during impact and improve performance of deposited material.

Project Outline

The goal of the proposed PhD project is to investigate the effect of laser-assistance on cold spray deposition behaviour in high-strength, corrosion-resistant alloys. This project will determine how the interplay between laser parameters, cold spray parameters and powder microstructure affect the mechanical properties of the deposit. It is expected that a more detailed study into the behaviour will enable a significant change in the performance of cold spray deposits and the range of materials that can be processed by such techniques. This will lead to the development of high integrity repair techniques capable of prolonging the safe life of critical structures. A suite of advanced characterisation techniques will be used to ascertain how materials properties develop and how structural performance can be improved. This could include (but is not limited to) residual stress by synchrotron XRD or neutron diffraction, high resolution EBSD and SEM/TEM.

About Industrial Sponsor

TWI is a world leading research and technology organisation. Over 800 staff give impartial technical support in welding, joining, materials science, structural integrity, NDT, surfacing and packaging. Services include generic research, confidential R&D, technical information, technology transfer, training and qualification. The Lloyd’s Register Foundation funds the advancement of engineer-related education and research and supports work that enhances safety of life at sea, on land and in the air, because life matters. Lloyd’s Register Foundation is partly funded by the profits of their trading arm Lloyd’s Register Group Limited, a global engineering, technical and business services organisation.


NSIRC is a state-of-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI, working closely with lead academic partner Brunel University, top UK and International Universities and a number of leading industrial partners. NSIRC aims to deliver cutting edge research and highly qualified personnel to its key industrial partners.

About University

The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom. Nottingham is organised into five constituent faculties, within which there are more than 50 schools, departments, institutes and research centres. The University of Nottingham saw its position as one of Britain’s leading research universities confirmed with the results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 – the UK’s definitive guide to research quality and excellence. The Faculty of Engineering at Nottingham ranked 3rd in the General Engineering Panel in the REF 2014 , Nottingham was named ’University of the Year’ for graduate employment by The Sunday Times.

Candidate Requirements Candidates should have a relevant UK degree (Materials/ Mecahnical/ Manufacturing/ applied Physics/ applied Chemistry) at 2.1 minimum (with 70% in dissertation), or an equivalent overseas degree. Candidates with suitable work experience and strong capacity in experimental skills are particularly welcome to apply. The candidate must meet the English language requirement of the University of Nottingham.

Funding Notes

This project is funded by TWI and academic partners. The studentship will provide successful Home/EU students with a stipend of up to £20k/year and will cover the cost of tuition fees. Exceptional overseas applicants are welcome to apply for a fees only award.

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