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  Strain-banding in Single Crystal (SX) Superalloys


   School of Metallurgy & Materials

   Wednesday, July 31, 2024  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

ARCANE is a collaborative research project across three leading UK universities and Rolls-Royce plc. The project aims to develop the state-of-the-art scientific understanding of nucleation defect formation within directionally solidified single crystal (SX) castings, and their role in the reduction in mechanical performance, through novel experimental methods, computational materials engineering modelling tools and machine learning methods. The project brings together world-leading experts in both academia and industry, across fields including superalloy metallurgy, microstructure characterisation, investment casting processing, computational modelling of casting processes at a macro-scale / component level and at a dendritic growth level, and machine learning methods for process optimisation.

Project Title: Strain-banding in Single Crystal (SX) Superalloys

Description: Within a SX superalloy casting, the material experiences a highly anisotropic response to mechanical loading, caused by the crystallographic orientation and preferential slip-systems. A phenomena called strain banding sees highly localised deformation occurring, often in thin planar bands though the material. This PhD, based at the University of Birmingham, intends to investigate localised strain banding effects as they occur within several commercially applied SX superalloys, through numerous experimental techniques such as scanning and transmission electron microscopy, mechanical testing and materials modelling methods.

Candidates should have a 1st class or 2:1 Undergraduate degree or a Masters degree (or equivalent) in Materials Science, or within a related Science & Engineering discipline. A background in microstructural characterisation, computational modelling methods, and/or advanced mechanical testing would be advantageous.

The School of Metallurgy & Materials at the University of Birmingham is committed to promote diversity, equality and inclusivity within our staff and student populations. We believe there is no such thing as a 'typical' member of University of Birmingham student and that diversity in its many forms is a strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation and debate at the heart of University life. We are committed to proactively addressing the barriers experienced by some groups in our community and are proud to hold Athena SWAN, Race Equality Charter and Disability Confident accreditations. We have an Equality Diversity and Inclusion Centre that focuses on continuously improving the University as a fair and inclusive place to work where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified applicants, and encourage applications from traditionally under-represented groups within materials science and engineering.

To apply for this PhD studentship, please provide: curriculum vitae (CV), Cover Letter summarising your research interests and suitability for the position, and the contact details of two Referees. Please send to Professor Roger Reed, one of the Work Package lead Investigators for the Prosperity Partnership ARCANE project, at the project’s dedicated contact email:

Funding notes:

The project is funded by the UKRI EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships award. UK Home students are eligible for the full funding package.

Materials Science (24)

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