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Proton Irradiation Effects on Cl Stress Corrosion Cracking of 304L Stainless Steel


Mechanical and Materials Engineering

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Dr Suraj Persaud , Dr Mark Daymond No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

PhD Position in Corrosion of Nuclear Materials

Proton Irradiation Effects on Cl Stress Corrosion Cracking of 304L Stainless Steel

Austenitic stainless steels are well-known to be susceptible to Cl-induced stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in aqueous solutions. The phenomenon is complex in nature due to the contribution of material, mechanical, and chemical variables in initiating and propagating SCC. Although a longstanding issue in several industries, the mechanism of Cl-SCC is still unclear, with many candidate mechanisms proposed. This project aims to better clarify the mechanism of Cl-SCC using experimental testing and advanced materials characterization techniques.

 A further goal of the project will be to examine the effect of proton irradiation on Cl-SCC of stainless steels. This will require learning to operate the proton accelerator facility available at the Reactor Materials Testing Laboratory (RMTL), Queen’s University.  Defects from radiation damage alters the microstructure, mechanical behaviour, and causes chemical segregation is stainless steels. We aim to examine effect of these material changes on SCC initiation and propagation. The goal would be to develop the mechanistic understanding of irradiation-assisted Cl-SCC of stainless steels from the perspective of multiple disciplines.

 Given the project scope, we are looking for a candidate with a diverse, interdisciplinary background in materials science, corrosion/electrochemistry, mechanics and materials characterization. This would include students from materials engineering, chemical engineering, physics, chemistry, and engineering physics. The objective will be to first evaluate the mechanism of Cl-SCC in stainless steels, followed by examining the specific effect of radiation damage in altering the SCC initiation and/or propagation mechanism. The candidate will collaborate closely with the Canadian nuclear industry as part of two UNENE Research Chair programs.

 The position requires the equivalent of a masters before admission, although students with superior standing in the bachelor’s degree may be considered for direct admission. Canadian permanent residents and Citizens preferred. We are committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcome applications from individuals from equity seeking groups such as women, racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability, persons who identify in the LGBTQ+ community and others who reflect the diversity of Canadian society and our diverse nuclear materials research groups at Queen’s University.

All applications will be reviewed, but only those who move on to the interview stage will be contacted.



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