Development of a non-destructive testing strategy for effective detection of defects in additively manufactured stainless steel parts using selective laser melting process
PhDs and postgraduate research
Self-funded PhD students only
School of Mechanical and Design Engineering
October and February
Applications accepted all year round
Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project.
The work on this project could involve:
- Manufacturing of stainless steel parts using Selective Laser Melting process.
- Experimental investigation and analysis of the fatigue behaviour of the AM parts.
- Pre- and post-fatigue application of various Non-destructive Testing (NDT) techniques to locate manufacturing-related defects and identify the crack initiation and propagation.
- Experimental investigation of the post-manufacturing heat treatment on the crack initiation process.
Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is an additive manufacturing (AM) process which uses a high power-density laser to melt and fuse metallic powders together. SLM is the most widely applied method for the production of stainless steel (SS) via AM, where the final part is produced layer-by-layer with computer-aided design (CAD) based control.
The AM parts contain defects and flaws that are derived from the manufacturing process and are attributed to various reasons. All these defects can reduce the strength and the fatigue performance of the AM components and, therefore, the need to detect these flaws is of vital importance. Non-destructive testing and evaluation play an important role in the acceptance of the additive manufactured parts, to provide the required confidence for the safety and best performance while in service.
The aim of this project is to develop a robust and efficient NDT inspection strategy for the quality assurance and periodic inspection of AM stainless steel components, which will provide reliable and repeatable information. Various non-destructive techniques will be employed with different strengths and weaknesses to assess the severity of the defects in AM parts. The X-ray micro-Computed Tomography (mCT) will be used to evaluate the microstructure of the AM parts prior to the fatigue loading as well as after it, to assess the porosity and inner flaws that might be responsible for the crack initiation.
This project aligns with the Future and Emerging Technologies Research Theme of University of Portsmouth, which aims to develop ground-breaking solutions and innovations for the practical applications of Additive Manufacturing.
This highly industry-relevant research will pave the way for industry uptake in the aerospace, automotive and medical sector. During the project, the PhD student will have access to the world-class capabilities of the Future Technology Centre (FTC) of University of Portsmouth and will be able to work in one of the most well-equipped materials testing and characterization labs.
Fees and funding
Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).
2021/2022 fees (applicable for October 2021 and February 2022 start)
PhD and MPhil
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,500 p/a**
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,250 p/a**
International full-time students: £17,600 p/a*
International part-time students: £8,800 p/a*
PhD by Publication
External candidates: £4,407*
Members of staff: £1,720
All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.
*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021.
Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.
You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
A solid background in structural mechanics and an interest in non-destructive testing and metal 3D printing.
Some experience in programming (ideally Matlab) is desirable.
How to apply
When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Mechanical and Design Engineering PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.
When applying please quote project code: SMDE5201021.