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Surface Modification of Metal Powders for Improved Additive Manufacturing (SAM18)

Project Description

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Project detail

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) of metal parts using selective laser melting (SLM) or sintering (SLS) offers many advantages including the production of novel shapes and rapid prototype development. In high value industries such as aerospace, healthcare and automotive, the ability to 3D print advanced, lightweight alloys of Titanium and Aluminium is particularly attractive. However, when working with powders of these metals, great care needs to be taken to control their flowability and surface composition to ensure that the printed parts are free of defects and mechanically robust.

This research project will investigate how the surface chemistry and morphology of the metal powders affects their ability to be 3D printed, along with the mechanical properties of the resulting parts. Methods to alter the powder surface chemistry will be investigated to enhance the process further and a range of parts will be printed to examine their microstructure and properties, supported by the advanced analysis techniques available at the University.

This project therefore offers the opportunity to build skills in a rapidly developing area of technology, of value to many industrial sectors.

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Start date of studentship: 01 October 2020.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Materials, Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical / Manufacturing Engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Surface Science, Additive Manufacturing, Metallurgy.

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Mechanical, Electrical & Manufacturing Engineering‘.

Please quote reference number: SAM18

Funding Notes

Applicants who apply for this project will be considered on a competitive basis in March 2020 against candidates shortlisted for this and other projects with the advert reference beginning ‘SAM’. Early submission is advised, and a complete application must be received before the advert’s closing date.

If successful, candidates will be awarded a 3-year school studentship providing a tax-free stipend and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £15,009 and £4,327, respectively, in 2019-20 which are likely to rise by 2020/21). Non-EU-nationals may apply but the studentship will cover the cost of the international tuition fee only.

Successful candidates will be notified by 26 March 2020.

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