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PhD in The development of X-ray Computer Tomography metrology techniques for analysing metallic components in industry.


Department of Materials

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Dr T Burnett , Dr Tristan Lowe No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The CDT in Advanced Metallics is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester and the I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Dublin. CDT students undertake the a 9-month training programme in materials science during the first year of the 4 year programme, hence candidates should be open to attending training in person and online, as well having enthusiasm for the PhD topic.

Apply by email with your CV and university transcript to [Email Address Removed] by 5pm 15th October. Interviews will be held online on 19th October, and you must be able to start on 26th October.

With the increased sophistication in component design in order to achieve improved mechanical properties, the process of testing for flawed components has become increasingly difficult. This is particularly evident in the 3D printing of metallic components that contain inaccessible internal geometries while the matrix material may harbour pores that can be detrimental to the components performance.

AWE aims to optimise component metrology through the reduction of the number of different techniques whilst simultaneously reducing component handling and analysis time. X-ray computed tomography (XCT) is an industry standard tool currently adopted for the qualitative assessment of inaccessible component surfaces and internal features. However XCT currently does not have either a best practice guide or standardised measurement technique, and there is an industry wide aspiration to develop XCT for dimensional assessment comparable in accuracy to CMM.

This project aims to advance the design of X-ray Computer Tomography (XCT) metrology techniques in collaboration with AWE in order to better understand the analysis of internal defects within metallic components and how these and influence future designs. To increase component performance manufactures have developed novel techniques in order to produce complex designs that improve mechanical properties and reduce manufacturing time and waste. With the increased sophistication in component design the process of testing for flawed components has become increasingly difficult. This is particularly evident in 3D printing of metallic components that contain inaccessible internal geometries while the matrix material may harbour pores that can be detrimental to the components performance.
XCT is a non-destructive technique that can be used to measure hidden component surfaces and internal defects such as pores which is critical for high value components in industry. However the validation of high value component requires a level of measurement confidence that is currently lacking in XCT. This project will build upon metrology techniques developed at the university of Manchester for validating XCT voxel size and spatial resolution and apply these to developing methods to measure how defects evolve in intermetallic components over time. The study will apply XCT metrology techniques to better understand the interpretation of XCT measurements in deformation studies of AM parts, and will include a placement for a flexible period of time at AWE.

For more information about the project please contact Dr Tim Burnett ([Email Address Removed]).

Funding Notes

UK residents only considered with a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Physics or materials science. Essential knowledge: structural mechanics, material science, computer programming and non-destructive testing such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) or XCT.

Current UKRI stipend plus a top-up of £2,500 p.a.in year 1 and £3,500 p.a. in years 2-4.


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