Novel powder materials for additive manufacturing (3D-Printing)
Additive manufacturing (AM) is a key future disruptive technology for manufacturing 3D objects. AM is already being used to fabricate a range of products in the, biomedical, automotive and aerospace sectors in which the proposing supervisors have specific expertise.
Additive manufacturing is also called 3D printing technology where powders (ranging from titanium to polymers) are deposited in thin layers, and fused together using lasers. A component is built-up layer by layer and the details of the deposition of a thin layer of powder (having a thickness of tens to hundred microns) influences directly the product quality, including density, strength and surface finish. All stages of the process from layer deposition to selective melting present challenges, however, the limiting factor for increasing manufacturing rates is represented by powder deposition.
The physical phenomena, including flow, handling and dosing of particulate materials is subject to continued research due to widespread industrial importance. The research group at Leicester has made significant contributions to understanding the flow, handling and dosing of powder materials, including state of the art experimental facilities and computational modelling using high performance computing clusters.
Building on existing work and interacting with other academic and industrial researchers and organisations involved in the Doctoral Training Centre, this PhD project will focus on understanding of powder feeding and layering mechanisms for a range of technologies involving additive manufacturing using metal powders. The research will focus specifically on improving the quality of the powder bed before sintering, including packing, surface texture, segregation and on improving feeding rate which directly impacts productivity. The project will employ experimental work using a model powder feeding system and numerical modelling using coupled discrete element – computational fluid dynamics. The results will guide the design of novel powder materials and optimisation of equipment and processing conditions.
For UK/EU students fully funded position including Stipend / Fee and RTSG
For International (Non-EU) Students: Stipend and Home/EU level fee waiver available, 4 years duration. International students will need to provide additional funds for remainder of tuition fees.
Reza Baserinia. Flow of fine and cohesive powders under controlled air pressure conditions. PhD thesis, 2017, University of Leicester.