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Optimizing the Mechanical Properties of 3D Printed Aluminium Alloys Using Multiscale Experimental and Computational Techniques

School of Engineering

About the Project

Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is a novel method of making three dimensional (3D) components in layer by layer fashion.

Selective laser melting (SLM) is one of the most promising metal AM methods where 3D components are fabricated by using a high-energy laser beam to fuse the pre-deposited metal powder. The interest in SLM is growing within a number of industrial sectors (i.e., aerospace, medical, oil & gas, marine and defence etc.) due to its ability to produce complex netshape components directly from a CAD model allowing for increased design freedom without the constraints of traditional methods. Hence, this makes SLM a key method of a great potential in reducing manufacturing cost in comparison with conventional manufacturing techniques. There is currently a lack of knowledge regarding the influence of process variables on the integrity and properties of as-fabricated material. Hence, determining unknown relationships between material performance and process parameters remain a primarily important engineering task which currently represents barrier to extensive use of this technology, especially in safety-critical applications. Successful establishment of these relationships will provide a robust platform for the optimisation of SLM parameters to manufacture parts with target design properties.

The overall aim of this project is to develop an effective combination of experimental and computational methods to establish the relation between pre- and post-process parameters and their ultimate effects on the mechanical behaviour of SLMed aluminium alloys. Hence, tailored fatigue life and residual stresses can be obtained by optimizing these process parameters so that laser melting of aluminium alloys can open up completely new possibilities and applications across many industries. To achieve our goal, in-situ experimental techniques such as X-ray micro computed tomography and scanning electron microscopy will be employed.

This project will be jointly conducted with the prestigious organisations The Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) the UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Mechanical/Materials/Aerospace/Marine Engineering or Materials Science.

The applicant should have knowledge of Materials modelling and Experimental mechanics


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr Mehmet Kartal (), with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ()

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of manufacturing, materials and mechanical engineering. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Additional research costs totalling £5,200 will also be required. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THIS PROJECT


Hastie, JC, Kartal, ME, Carter, LN, Attallah, MM & Mulvihill, DM 2020, 'Classifying shape of internal pores within AlSi10Mg alloy manufactured by laser powder bed fusion using 3D X-ray micro computed tomography: influence of processing parameters and heat treatment', Materials Characterization, vol. 163, 110225.
DOI: HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.1016/J.MATCHAR.2020.110225

Georgilas, K, Khan, RHU & Kartal, ME 2020, 'The influence of pulsed laser powder bed fusion process parameters on Inconel 718 material properties', Materials Science and Engineering A, vol. 769, 138527.
DOI: HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.1016/J.MSEA.2019.138527

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