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Strobo-Strain: Stroboscopic Neutron & X-ray mapping of strain fields in dynamically loaded engineering components

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

Project Description

Using stroboscopic X-ray diffraction to measure dynamic strain in moving machine parts is relatively well established. Our recent successful measurement of dynamic contact strain in the outer raceway of a ball bearing at Diamond Light Source is an example of applying the technique. Most large engineering components, however, are too thick to be measured using X-rays, so neutron diffraction is a more suitable technique in such components. However, the hardware and software required to carry out such experiments at ISIS, UK’s Neutron Source needs further development. An example component where neutron diffraction could help is the shaft bearing of a large wind turbine. The load path, from the blades through the gearbox to the shaft, is complex and highly transient. Simple measurements of torque on the rotor shafts cannot be used to determine the load history of the bearings. Stroboscopic measurements of strain with neutrons will provide a new tool for studying machine components, providing valuable knowledge which can be used for life prediction models and the development of complementary condition monitoring methods.

This is an exciting collaboration between groups at three premier institutions:
1. University of Sheffield, Department of Mechanical Engineering (http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/mecheng), which is host to one of the strongest tribology groups known worldwide.
2. ISIS ENGIN-X beamline (http://www.isis.stfc.ac.uk/instruments/engin-x/engin-x2900.html)
3. Diamond Light Source, I12 JEEP beamline (http://www.diamond.ac.uk/Beamlines/Engineering-and-Environment/I12.html)
The overall aim is to transfer the knowledge of stroboscopic dynamic strain measurements available using X-rays at DLS JEEP, to the neutron instrument at ISIS ENGIN-X.

The position offers a unique opportunity to work with a selection of experts in the field of solid mechanics, x-ray and neutron science. You will be expected to carry out cutting-edge experimental research, develop hardware, analyse the data, develop necessary codes, write scientific reports, journal and conference papers, attend conferences and communicate data and findings with collaborators. The successful applicant will be required to spend the first year of their PhD in Sheffield University with strong ties with University of Sheffield’s tribology Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) and is expected to spend at least one year working at world’s leading neutron and x-ray facilities (ISIS Neutron Source and Diamond Light Source) at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus near Oxford.

External supervisors:
Dr Saurabh Kabra (Instrument Scientist – ISIS: ENGIN-X)
Dr Thomas Connolley (Senior Beamline Scientist - Diamond Light Source: JEEP)

Relevant degree disciplines and any other essential requirements:
First or 2:1 in Physics, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering or Materials Science

Ability to work with collaborators is essential
Proficiency and willingness to develop computer code is essential

Familiarity with X-ray and neutron diffraction is desirable
Familiarity with Python is desirable

•Contact for enquiries/applications: [email protected]

•Closing date for applications: Will remain open until filled

The start date for all projects will be 31st August 2015.

Funding Notes

This is an EPSRC funded project and student eligibility conditions apply (for more information see: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/). A standard annual stipend of £13,863, tax free will be provided. The tuition fee is covered by the project funding.

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Mechanical engineering and Advanced manufacturing

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities
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