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Sustainable Coatings by Rational Design: Influence of Substrate Manufacturing Processes

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  • Full or part time
    Prof X Zhou
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Sustainable Coatings by Rational Design (SusCoRD) is a multi-disciplinary research programme that aims, for the first time, to connect a detailed scientific understanding of the mechanisms of protective coatings failure with state-of-the-art-machine learning to deliver a framework for the optimisation of corrosion protective organic coatings and related nanocomposite materials. The programme is a 5-year collaboration between the Universities of Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and our industrial partner AzkoNobel involving around 20 individual projects over 4 work packages.

This PhD project forms part of a team working mainly at Manchester with contributions from Liverpool and Sheffield. The overall aim of the research is to understand how metallic substrates, and their surface treatment, influence polymer-substrate interactions, the interfacial solvation of metal ions, electrochemical charge transfer and the initiation of corrosion by application of multiscale, high-resolution analytical imaging combined with in-operando 3D and 4D imaging.

A key target of this PhD project, due to its critical importance to accelerated attack and detrimental effect on coatings, is to remedy our current poor understanding of the evolution and influence of near-surface deformed layers on metals other than aluminium during pre-treatment, film formation and in-service. The initial focus will be on steels which to date have received virtually no study. Systematic studies will be undertaken to determine the effect of typical fabrication/manufacturing processes including rolling, machining and mechanical grinding on the characteristic of the near-surface layers and how the performance of the coating is affected in its protection of the substrate. Further, the response to pre-treatment and the relationship to corrosion will be determined for both steel and aluminium alloys as for the latter, industry is currently experiencing difficulties in controlling its removal and its detrimental influences on pre-treatment, including roles of ultra-fine grains, grain boundaries, oxide particles, precipitation and porosity etc. This is important for alloys where local redistribution of alloying elements and enhanced precipitation metallurgically sensitise the layer.

The duration of this PhD project is 3.5 years, the proposed start date is September 2019.

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or an aligned subject. An interest in metallurgy and microstructure would be an advantage.

Funding Notes

The project forms part of the “Prosperity Partnership” collaborative research award between EPSRC, AkzoNobel and the Universities of Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool. Home fees will be paid (in 2019/2020 this is £4,327). The project is open to none EU and EU students but only home fees will be paid. Students will receive a stipend of a minimum of £16,000 per year.

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