Fully-funded PhD Studentship - Development of Finite Element Simulations of Powder Metallurgy Hot Isostatic Pressing of Titanium and Nickel-based Alloys

University of Sheffield - Mechanical Engineering

Project Description

This studentship funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/coll/icase/intro/) is a partnership between the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield and a local company with focus on developing a novel processing route combining Powder Metallurgy and Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP).

The project will, first, focus on the development of a new material model for Titanium and Nickel based alloys to be used for Finite Element (FE) simulations of the HIP process of these powders. This will include experiments to acquire high temperature properties of the materials, interrupted HIP cycles to measure the material densification during the process, high temperature material properties for the metal capsule used in the process and data collection of real component manufacturing to correlate the material model. As HIP of capsule filled with metal powder results in significant shrinkage and distortion, the project will also focus on the development of a closed-loop simulation process that will use the final target part as an input and will generate the optimal capsule design as an output. This automated optimisation will result in the design of the capsule that is required in order to achieve the final shape after the HIP process. The optimisation should consider both – adjustment to capsule design (localised wall thicknesses) and powder material volume.

The successful candidate will be based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield with regular visits to the company which will provide access to production facilities and in-house training.

Eligibility and Entry requirements

Due to EPSRC residency requirements (https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/), this project is open only to UK applicants and EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years immediately preceding the start of the PhD study. Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject such as Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Computer Science or Applied physics, although applicants with other relevant backgrounds will also be considered.

Good programming skills and knowledge of FE analysis are both desirable for this project. Excellent communication (written and verbal) and organisational skills along with a keen interest to engage in industry focused research are essential. Interpersonal skills are also required to effectively work as part of a research team.

Start date: 1 October 2018

Value of award: 100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the three-year duration of the PhD, plus a tax-free stipend of £18,000 per year.

Contact: Dr Christophe Pinna, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Sheffield, e-mail: c.pinna@sheffield.ac.uk, Tel: +44 114 2227831

Applications closing date: 31 March 2018

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