PhD Studentship (Sponsored by Lloyd’s Register Foundation) – Development of Advanced Material Modelling for Metal Additive Manufacturing
Applications are invited to undertake a PhD programme in partnership with Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
Metal additive manufacturing (AM) is an attractive and increasingly adopted process for automotive, aerospace, nuclear and medical applications. AM technology enables the production of lightweight, complex components that could otherwise not be produced by conventional manufacturing processes, and offers the promise of increased efficiency, less material waste, and lower-cost production. In recent years, there has been extensive research into AM technology enablers such as supply chain optimisation, functional metal alloy development, distortion predictions and quality assurance. However, the successful application of AM technology requires the ability to obtain desirable and predictable microstructures. Modelling how melted powder grains cool and change phases is a crucial link between the additive manufacturing process and the mechanical properties of additively manufactured metal parts.
Project Outline -
The proposed project aims to develop and validate a multi-physics modelling approach for AM by selective laser melting (SLM). Although there has been increasing attention to this field, the project will focus specifically on further refining and extending existing models beyond the state-of-the-art to address metallic parts with sub-structures, where growing experimental evidence has shown strongly anisotropic mechanical properties due to part design, processing parameters and build orientation. The project will involve the development of coupled thermal, mechanical and microstructural models to predict location-specific phase concentrations, grain sizes and mechanical properties. The material under consideration will be one alloy selected from stainless steel, titanium (Ti-6Al-4V) or a nickel-based alloy that is currently of most interest for metal AM. The numerical models will be validated through an experimental test programme involving both small-scale test pieces and full-scale demonstration parts.
About the sponsor -
The Lloyd’s Register Foundation is a charity set up in 2012, which became fully operational in 2013, with a mission to enhance the safety of life and property and to advance public education in engineering-related subjects. For more information about the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, its activities and latest news visit our website: www.lrfoundation.org.uk
About NSIRC -
Projects will be based at NSIRC, a state-of-the-art postgraduate facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI in Cambridge. NSIRC is sponsored by TWI, BP and Lloyd’s Register Foundation and students will work to deliver industry relevant research. PhDs will be supervised and awarded by one of our academic partners such as Brunel University London, Cambridge, Manchester, Loughborough, Birmingham, Leicester, Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Leeds, Cranfield and Coventry. For more information about The National Structural Integrity Research Centre, visit www.nsirc.co.uk
Candidate Requirements -
Candidates should have a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree in Mechanical, or Civil/Structural Engineering, Material Science, Metallurgy or Physics and Applied/Computational Mathematics. Candidates with suitable work experience and strong capacity in numerical modelling and experimental skills are particularly welcome to apply. Overseas applicants should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.
This project is funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, TWI and academic partners. The studentship will provide successful Home/EU students with a stipend of £16k/year and will cover the cost of tuition fees. Overseas applicants are welcome to apply, with total funding capped at £20k/year.