Student research degrees in Metallic Materials are based within a vibrant research group, which is one of the largest in the UK. The research encompasses all aspects of metals alloys and composites, including their design, processing, forming, joining and performance.
The research extends from fundamental science, and the `blue skies' development of novel technologies and techniques, to the very applied, with the aim of improving our understanding of the basic governing principles, process simulation and physical modelling. While our research is broad ranging, we focus on light alloys for aerospace and transport applications, high-temperature materials for aeroengines and power generation, and metal composites, as well as the failure of metallic materials, their environmental degradation and surface treatment. The research is supported by state of the art equipment for materials characterisation, testing, simulation and processing.
Examples of recent student PhD projects include; Microstructure Modelling for Friction Stir Welding, Laser Surface treatment of Aerospace Alloys, Advanced Strain Mapping for Structural Integrity application, Dynamic Grain Growth in Super Plastic Forming, Dynamics and Morphology of Stress Corrosion Cracking Using 3D X-ray Tomography, and Laser Depositioning of Nickel Base Superalloys.
We have strong links with industry and the funding councils and sponsorship from global companies, including; Airbus, Alcan, Alcoa, British Energy, Rolls Royce, BNF and Jaguar. Major initiatives include the £6M EPSRC-Manchester Portfolio Partnership in Light Alloys for Environmentally Sustainable Transport and the Materials Performance Centre, a research alliance established with Nexia Solutions (supported by the NDA) in 2002, and partnered with British Energy, Serco Assurance, EDF and Westinghouse.
To underpin the research and teaching activities, we have established state-of-the-art laboratories, which allow comprehensive characterisation and development of materials. These facilities range from synthetic/textile fibre chemistry to materials processing and materials testing.
To complement our teaching resources, there is a comprehensive range of electrochemical, electronoptical imaging and surface and bulk analytical facilities and techniques.