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Structural health assessment of high-value asset protection coatings using acoustic emissions

   School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing (SATM)

  Dr Isidro Durazo Cardenas,  Sunday, August 21, 2022  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

We are seeking to recruit a high-calibre PhD student to conduct structural health assessment studies on high-value asset protective coatings. This is an exciting opportunity under a fully funded iCASE studentship providing an annual £20k bursary. Cranfield’s Centre for Lifecyle Engineering and Management (CLEM) is a world leading institution in autonomous maintenance systems, condition based, predictive maintenance and asset management. The research will use state of the art facilities and techniques, including Acoustic Emissions monitoring. The PhD will work closely with industry partners at Akzo Nobel UK and be expected regularly to present and discuss findings.

This project relates to advanced structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques, applied to protective coatings in high-value critical infrastructure assets which can degrade due to extreme operational conditions. These assets are essential for the functioning of the oil & gas and marine industries. 

The project aims at further advancing previous feasibility studies using acoustic emissions (AE) monitoring. It is ultimately desired to enable damage detection and to infer its source location in applied anisotropic protective coatings. The following objectives will be met:

1. Assessment of measurement methods to determine anisotropic coatings wave-speed characteristics.

2. Detection of damage and to estimate their source location, initiation/direction.

3. Utilise AE measurements to understand key variables affecting damage initiation, e.g. applied coating thickness, coating density etc.

4. Expand AE crack detection capability to a range of sample geometry and aspect ratio, under both thermal and mechanical stress.

5. Develop and validate models/frameworks using AE signals to infer failure mode, and characterise type and severity of damage, etc.

Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management. We are home to many world-class, large-scale facilities which enhance our teaching and research, attracting the best students and teaching staff from around the world. In the last Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment, 81% of our research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. The Centre for Life-cycle Engineering and Management (CLEM) works in autonomous maintenance systems, asset management, condition-based maintenance, digital systems, inspection, and repair. Our team works closely with industry, to support operations throughout the long life of high value engineering assets, through design, manufacture, maintenance, and life extension. We use design, data, intelligence, and experience, to create the best solutions for resilience in the presence of degradation. The industrial partner, Akzo Nobel is the world leader in marine, yacht, and protective coatings. These innovative coatings deliver anticorrosive, fire protection and fouling protection. Asset protection is crucial for Akzo Nobel customers. 

The project will provide in-depth knowledge of degradation processes of protective coatings under harsh operational conditions. It will lead to prolonging the useful life of National critical infrastructure assets. This innovative research will deliver strategic technological developments, helping to reinforce Akzo Nobel as the leading supplier of protective coatings.

You will have the opportunity to work alongside the industry sponsor and gain significant experience in industrial research and development. It is expected that you will attend and present at national and international conferences.

You will receive significant level of technical training including design of experiments, a range of analytical skills and other transferable skills. You will gain in-depth experience of practical structural health assessment. The combination of academic and industry contacts will be beneficial to your learning experience and future employability and career development. 

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline. This project would suit an applicant with a strong interest on structural health monitoring, who is keen on experimental laboratory work and data analysis techniques, and seeks industry-academic collaboration on applied research. Applicants with a background on physics, engineering or science will be particularly well suited for this project.

How to apply

To apply for this PhD opportunity please complete the application form using the button below. 

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Funding Notes

Sponsored by Akzo Nobel, EPSRC and Cranfield University, this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £20,000 (tax free) plus fees* for four years.

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