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PhD Studentship: Modelling of cobalt hard facing in sliding wear applications

Mechanical Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Wednesday 31 July 2019
Reference:  1146919DA

Project Reference: MechEng-NCATS-600

Cobalt-based hard facings are used extensively within the nuclear industry for sliding wear resistant applications, such as where there is a risk of galling. Galling is defined as a form of surface damage arising between sliding surfaces, distinguished by macroscopic roughening which is usually localized, and the creation of protrusions above the original surface; it often includes plastic flow or material transfer, or both, and in the most severe cases may results in parts becoming seized together.

An issue with the use of the cobalt-based alloys however, is the activation of cobalt by a neutron flux to form the cobalt-60 radionuclide; this isotope is a significant contributor to plant worker dose and the cobalt-based alloys used typically have cobalt compositions in excess of 50%. Whilst significant work is on-going in developing cobalt-free, galling resistant alloys, the use of surface coatings to encapsulate the cobalt-based alloys represents an attractive means of minimizing plant material changes whilst still delivering an effective engineering solution against wear and radiation dose.

This project will build upon work already started at the university in the modelling of vacuum thin film coatings, specifically the use of diamond-like-carbon coatings, in sliding wear in a simple water environment. This project will focus on simplistic sample geometries and will establish the modelling of the baseline cobalt-base alloy system behaviour, before investigating the coating palliative. The effect of a pressurized water reactor environment will need to be incorporated into the model in order to ensure the applicability of the model and its results to real life applications.

 If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof RJK Wood, nCATS Research Group, Email: r.wood@soton.ac.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4881. 

To apply please follow the link below: 

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/postgraduate/research_degrees/apply.page

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