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4 year Engineering Doctorate (EngD): The development of next generation coatings for cutting tools for high value aerospace components Sponsors: UoS / Kyocera SGS / EPSRC

Project Description

Start date: 4 September 2017
Stipend: £18,000 pa plus tuition fees paid at Home/EU rates

Project details
Machining of titanium poses significant challenges due to its high chemical reactivity and maintained high strength at elevated temperatures. During cutting, these material properties result in an aggressive environment at the tool-chip-workpiece interface which a cutting insert is expected to survive. To combat these challenging conditions tooling suppliers are constantly developing new coatings. These coatings are developed with the aim of prolonging tool life and thus maintain the integrity of the component. For non-titanium components, coated carbide is often used. However, original equipment manufacturers still commonly employ the use of uncoated carbide for both the roughing and finishing operations of machined aerospace titanium components. This is due in part to high affinity of titanium to elements such as carbon and nitrogen; this can promote chemical wear of coated inserts and lead to dissolution of compounds into the workpiece material.

For this project the student will be expected to work closely alongside engineers at SGS in developing the next generation in carbide coatings for the use on both current and next generation titanium alloys. The student will also capitalise on the resources available at the AMRC to conduct machining trials using representative machining centres. This will allow the student to substantiate any proposed gains by validating their performance against current industrial standards.

This project requires the student to gain a fundamental understating of how coatings behave during the machining process. This will involve studying the effect of coating constituents and their interaction with workpiece materials, both chemically and mechanically, at high temperatures and pressures. Thus linking these effects to tool wear rates, the surface integrity of the machined component as well as the overall process cost.

The student will also be required to evaluate the current state of the art in coating growth/deposition technologies, film technologies, coating properties and their subsequent effect on machining. In order to do this a current benchmark needs establishing, this benchmark will characterise current commercially available insert coatings.

A desired output from this project will be the development of a multipurpose coating that can be used for a wide range of applications such as milling, turning and drilling. In order to do this the student will be required to understand the needs of different processes – single point contact versus intermittent cutting, variable thermal/mechanical cycles etc; this will allow for bespoke coating solutions to be subsequently created based on their effective performance between machining processes.

About SGS
Kyocera SGS is a ISO –certified leader around the world of round solid carbide cutting tool technology for aerospace, medical, power generation and automotive industries. With manufacturing sites in the United States and United Kingdom, our global network of Sales Representatives, Industrial Distributors, and Agents blanket the world selling into more than 60 countries.

Kyocera SGS Precision Tools Europe Ltd Head office is based at a new state-of-the-art facility in Wokingham near London. The focus at Kyocera SGS is the manufacture of special cutting tools, high accuracy form tools, as well as modifications and regrinds.

From this facility we provide:

- A fast track for special tools via our Rapid Response Centre
- Research and Development for new products and continual testing of current products
- Customer projects/application testing
- Application and tooling support
- Dedicated CAD/CAM engineering support-Delcam/Catia/NX/Vericut
- £3M stock centre
- Advanced coatings utilising our CemeCon HiPIMS chamber

Funding Notes

Due to EPSRC residency requirements, this project is open only to UK and EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years immediately preceding the start of the course (see How to Apply section).

Candidates must also be able show that their English language proficiency is at a level which allows them to successfully complete the EngD. All applicants require an English language qualification, typically a GCSE or an IELTS test (a score of 7 or above is required, with a minimum of 6 in each component).

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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