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X-ray video imaging of solidification to increase materials recirculation

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Increasing the recycling and recirculation of aluminum alloys offers the potential for enormous energy and carbon emission savings but is restricted due to the progressive accumulation of impurities (such as Fe) in the aluminium that reduce final mechanical properties. The recirculation process always involves a melting and solidification step, and we are researching the behaviour of these detrimental impurities during melting and casting in order to then control and contrive the impurities into less harmful phases, and so make the recirculation process more "tolerant". Using X-ray imaging, we record real-time videos of the solidification of alloys with high temporal and spatial resolution. This technique also provides new information to help understand and resolve long-standing and important issues in solidification science, including the role of grain refiners and external fields.

This project will exploit and further develop our capabilities to study and quantify the nucleation and growth behaviour of impurity phases during casting. The work will involve X-ray imaging solidification experiments, microstructural analysis and data analysis of images and videos. The work will involve using national facilities such as the Diamond Light Source as well as developing a new in-house imaging facility. This project is in collaboration with the EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hub - Liquid Metal Engineering.

Any questions concerning the project can be addressed to Professor Patrick Grant (). General enquiries on how to apply can be made by e mail to . You must complete the standard Oxford University Application for Graduate Studies. Further information and an electronic copy of the application form can be found at

Funding Notes

This EPSRC-funded 3.5 year DPhil in Materials DTP studentship will provide full fees and maintenance for a student with home fee status (this status includes an EU student who has spent the previous three years (or more) in the UK undertaking undergraduate study). Candidates with EU fee status are eligible for a fees-only award, but would have to provide funding for their living costs from another source such as personal funds or a scholarship. The stipend will be approximately £15,777 per year. Information on fee status can be found at View Website.

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