Wind turbines as one of the major renewable energy sources are growing rapidly globaly, however their reliability has become a major issue for their future sustainable development. A large number of wind turbine gearbox bearings have been found to fail much earlier than their designed life due to a particular failure mode called white etching cracking (WEC) in rolling bearings. Despite the amount of investigations on white etching phenomena in steel bearings conducted over the past two decades, WEC initiation and formation mechanisms that prevail under different operating conditions are still not clear. Recent results at Southampton has provided clear evidence showing a subsurface micro-cracking initiation in deep groove bearings followed by microstructural alteration under electrification. It is not clear whether same or different initiation process would occur for WEC under different drivers, such as slippage or critical lubrication conditions. This project aims to investigate the initiation mechanism of white etching cracking in bearing steels under a range of conditions to derive or confirm an existing hypothesis on bearing failure due to WEC.
The PhD candidate is expected to conduct detailed metallographical and materials analyses on a series of purposely tested rolling bearings at macro-, micro- and nano-scales to investigate the failure mechanisms. If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Professor Ling Wang, nCATS Research Group, Email: [email protected], Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 5076.
Entry Requirements A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).
Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.
Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.
How To Apply
Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Ling Wang under the proposed supervisor.