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Small Scale Laboratory to Large Scale Component Manufacture - Scaling of Heat Treatment Behaviour of Low Alloy Steels


Project Description

This doctoral project is a collaboration between the CDT in Advanced Metallics at the University of Sheffield and Rolls Royce (Derby) in low alloy steel, aiming to bridge the gap between small scale laboratory heat treatment measurements and the conditions experienced during large scale manufacturing processes. This is a challenging step for manufacturing, as behaviour observed in laboratory specimens weighing as little as a few grams is not always directly relevant to components weighing hundreds of tonnes. Understanding how these differences arise is key to relating what can be measured accurately and routinely in a laboratory environment to the optimisation and robustness of large scale industrial processes.

The major themes of this project are to;
1) Establish a meso-scale measurement capability for phase changes and mechanical performance in structural, pressure vessel and high integrity bolting grades of low alloy steels,
2) Explore the effect of inherent variation in the material; this could be due to compositional segregation or processing variability,
3) Further refine the understanding of heat transfer during furnace heating and liquid quenching of components through defining key inputs to models and undertaking measurements of thermo-physical properties as required.

The project will employ a variety of state of the art equipment, including a heat treatment simulator capable of immersion water quench cooling rates, SEM/TEM characterisation of phases and constituents, mechanical testing of generated materials (impact, tensile, hardness, potentially toughness).

This project follows on from another completed PhD in the CDT in ’Heat Treatment Modelling of Large Nuclear Forgings’. Opportunities are available for the successful candidate to gain experience working at Rolls-Royce. The work offered will be dependent on the candidate’s experience and skill set. Tasks can involve modelling, microstructure analysis, design of experiments, and machine development.

This project is available as either a PhD or EngD, depending on the selected candidates preference, subject to an EngD candidate meeting Rolls Royce’s Security Clearance criteria.

Funding Notes

Current UKRI stipend plus a top-up of £2,500p.a. in year 1, and £3,500p.a. in Years 2, 3, and 4, for UK and eligible EU students

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?
Materials Science and Engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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