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Process modelling and manufacture of ceramic coatings by particulate aerosol deposition

   Department of Materials

   Sunday, July 31, 2022  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The particulate aerosol deposition (PAD) method is a novel coating process, which has the potential to combine dissimilar ceramic, metallic and polymeric materials in multilayer or composite coating architectures. The development of improved understanding of the deposition mechanisms, influence of precursor powder characteristics and computational process modelling studies are key factors that need to be addressed to achieve widespread exploitation of PAD. The proposed project will develop a surrogate modelling approach to optimise the PAD process in real time, for use in the fabrication of electrically insulating coatings for electromagnetic motors and generators; this will enable the working temperatures of electrical machines and their resulting power density to be significantly increased, for improved efficiency.

The overall aim of the proposed research is to demonstrate the means to monitor the PAD process in real time and to adjust key process parameters to modify the deposition behaviour. This will involve conducting model simulations to describe particulate aerosol flow and the formation of ceramic coatings, coupled with systematic experiments to establish the influence of key process variables on film growth and material properties/microstructure. Subsequently, software will be developed for real-time simulation and control of the deposition process through the development of a surrogate model. Optimised ceramic coatings on metallic conductors will be evaluated in terms of dielectric strength, resistance to partial discharge and resilience to damage during thermal cycling.

This project is part of the MADSIM PhD Training Centre for PhD students at the University of Manchester, for research in mathematical modelling, big data and AI. The project involves collaboration between different departments in the University of Manchester and industrial engagement. MADSIM provides a community for PhD students with common research interests and training opportunities via internal seminars, journal reading groups, and participation in events such as modelling challenges or industrial problem solving

Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, a minimum upper second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Materials Science, Physics or Applied Mathematics.  Knowledge of programming methods, finite element analysis, modelling/simulation and some practical experience are essential. A Masters degree in a relevant subject, experience in fluid and solid mechanics, and experience with AnsysFluent and/or Comsol are desirable. 

At the University of Manchester, we pride ourselves on our commitment to fairness, inclusion and respect in everything we do. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and identities and encourage you to bring your whole self to work and study. We will ensure that your application is given full consideration without regard to your race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital or pregnancy status, or socioeconomic background. All PhD places will be awarded on the basis of merit.

 To apply please follow the link below:


 The University’s Equality and Diversity policy is applicable to all applicants, students and staff, the full policy can be found at:


Funding Notes

The bursary / stipend will follow the EPSRC minimum rate. Unfortunately we don’t know exactly how much this will be each year because EPSRC release the rates each year. The first year’s minimum stipend is £16,062 and fees will be £4,596 and the estimated cost of a 3.5 year studentship is £73,500


D. Hanft et al.,”An overview of the aerosol deposition method: process fundamentals and new trends in materials applications”, Journal of Ceramic Science and Technology 6, 147-182 (2015).
P. Glosse et al., “Investigation of the Powder Aerosol Deposition Method Using Shadowgraph Imaging”, Materials 14, 2502 (2021)
A. Z. Yeganeh et al., “Numerical modeling of aerosol deposition process”, Surface & Coatings Technology 370 (2019) 269-287.
K. H. Leitz et al., “OpenFOAM Modeling of Particle Heating and Acceleration in Cold Spraying”, Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, 27(1-2):135-144, Jan 2018.

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