PhD Studentship in High-Rate Fracture of Forged and 3D-printed Metallic Alloys

   Department of Mechanical Engineering

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  Dr P Hooper  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a research studentship in the field of fracture and high strain-rate materials characterisation, leading to the award of a PhD degree.

This PhD project aims to advance our understanding of the influence of strain rate and sample size on the fracture toughness of nuclear grade A508 forged steel and 3D printed Ti-6Al-4V manufactured through laser powder bed fusion. Strain rate is known to affect the mechanical properties of alloys, especially the yield strength and fracture toughness. Conventional fracture toughness methods used under quasi-static loading, such as pausing and unloading tests at predefined displacements do not work at high-speed. This leads to uncertainty in predicting the structural integrity of structures which may experience high speed loading scenarios in service. In this PhD you will develop innovative high-speed experimental methods to overcome the limitations of the established quasi-static approach. This will include the design and development of a method to load a compact tension (CT), or single edge notch bend (SENB) specimen, at high-speed (>10 m/s) to a fixed displacement to prevent the specimen fully fracturing into 2 pieces. You will learn to use high-speed photography and apply techniques to measure sample deformation. Alongside the experimental aspects of this project, you will also develop finite element models and analytical techniques to gain further insight into the results obtained. You will also have the opportunity to travel to and present your work at international conferences.

You will be an enthusiastic and self-motivated person who meets the academic requirements for enrolment for the PhD degree at Imperial College London. You will have a 1st class or 2.1 honours degree in mechanical engineering or a related subject, and an enquiring and rigorous approach to research together with a strong intellect and disciplined work habits. Practical engineering, problem-solving and computational abilities are key skills for this PhD project. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential.

To find out more about research at Imperial College London in this area, go to:

For information on how to apply, go to:

For further details of the post contact Dr Paul Hooper [Email Address Removed] or Dr Catrin Davies [Email Address Removed]. Interested applicants should send an up-to-date curriculum vitae to Dr Paul Hooper. Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form for their qualifications to be addressed by College Registry.

Closing date: 30th April 2022

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

he post is supported by a bursary and fees (at the UK student rate) provided by AWE plc.