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Graduate Admissions


Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 42 months in the first instance.

Supervisors: Prof TW Clyne and Dr RV Kumar

This project is fully funded by Solar Turbines (, a major firm (within the Caterpillar Group) that produces and maintains a wide range of turbines, particularly in the oil and gas industry. The company will be closely involved in the project, building on recent extensive collaboration within the Gordon Laboratory. Further information about research activities there is available at

Degradation of turbine blades under combinations of stress, high temperature and aggressive chemical environments (particularly NaCl from ingested air and S from either the fuel or the air) is of considerable importance. "Type II Corrosion" refers to degradation in the vicinity of 700-800¿C, which can be severe - often due to formation of phases such as Na2SO4, NiSO4, CoSO4 etc, which can form liquids that promote scale formation, cracking and pitting. This is often exacerbated by mechanical stress. The project will involve usage of a recently-commissioned facility in which Ni-based superalloy samples (pre-coated with NaCl) can be subjected to 4 point bending within a high temperature, environmental chamber in which the SO2 and SO3 levels are controlled. The work will also involve study of the behaviour when coatings are present. It is known that liquids of the type described above can cause spallation of Thermal Barrier Coatings by penetrating the top coat, which is fairly permeable, and reaching the interface with the substrate or the bond coat. Various coatings will be produced in-house, using a vacuum plasma spray rig, and damage characteristics under service conditions will be explored. Furthermore, specific measures will be investigated for making these coatings more protective in the environments concerned. A particular target will be to incorporate species designed to remove Na2SO4. The project will thus involve a range of experimental and microstructural studies. In addition, modeling of stress distributions (within both samples and real components) will be used to investigate the observed effects and to correlate them with industrial practice.

Applications are invited from students eligible for home level University fees (ie EU nationals and others who would qualify via residence). Applicants should have (or expect to be awarded) an upper second or first-class UK honours degree at the level of MSci, MEng (or overseas equivalents) in Materials Science or a closely related field.

The studentship is fully funded, covering fees and a tax-free stipend (currently set at £17,777 per annum).

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Bill Clyne by e-mail to

Applications can be made on-line via Further information on the application process is available from Dr Rosie Ward (

Please quote reference LJ15047 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Key Information

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Reference: LJ15047

Dates and deadlines:

Wednesday, 14 March, 2018
Closing Date
Sunday, 15 April, 2018