Fully funded PhD scholarship – Process Modelling and Defect Prediction for Wire + Arc Additive Manufacture

Cranfield University

Start Date: As soon as possible
Duration of award: 3 years
Supervisors:  
Prof. Stewart Williams – Professor in welding in engineering and laser processing centre
Dr Jialuo Ding – Senior Research Fellow in additive manufacturing

Wire + Arc Additive Manufacture (WAAM) is a process for building large scale metallic engineering components of medium complexity in a layer-by-layer manner. The process is of significant interest to aerospace and other industry sectors due to its potential to reduce cost and lead-time for high value and critical components when compared to conventional manufacturing methods such as machining from solid billet or forgings. Cranfield University has successfully built many WAAM parts for industrial. More information about WAAM can be found: http://waammat.com/

Control of the deposited bead geometry is one of the main challenges of the WAAM process when building complex structures. Process parameters, build strategy, as well as local geometrical features all have a direct impact on the flow of the melt pool which results in different bead geometry. The study of melt pool flow will also help understanding the formation of defects during the WAAM process, such as lack of fusion defects, and surface humps.

Cranfield University has an exciting collaborative research opportunity with BAE Systems, which aims to develop a fluid flow model to understand and predict the influence of the process variations on bead geometries as well as defects for the WAAM process.

The overall project objectives are to:

  1. Develop a fluid flow model to study and predict the influence of the process parameters on the single bead shape.
  2. Extend the model to study the influence of different build strategies (including parallel build strategy and oscillation build strategy with different oscillation widths) on bead shape variations.
  3. Study the change of the melt pool flow and bead shape related to the changes of local geometrical features and temperature distributions.
  4. Study the formation of the defects, including lack of fusion defects as well as surface humps, with the fluid flow model.
  5. Validate the model with experimental results.
  6. Develop a simplified process model to provide fast predictions of defects and assist the control of defects with modified process parameters.

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, such as physics, mathematics, mechanical engineering or materials science. The ideal candidate should have some understanding in the area of fluid flow modelling, thermal transfer theory and welding/ additive manufacturing process. The candidate should be self-motivated, and have good communication.

Funding:
The studentship is sponsored by BAE Systems and EPSRC and the student will receive a tax free bursary of £18k p.a. plus the tuition fee will be paid. To be eligible for funding applicants must have UK citizenship.

How to apply:
For further information please contact: Dr. Jialuo Ding, E: jialuo.ding@cranfield.ac.uk, T: (0) 1234 750111 Ext: 5055

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form

For further information contact us today:
School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing
T: 44 (0)1234 758008
E: enquiries@cranfield.ac.uk

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England