PhD Studentship available Laser Transition Welding of Dissimilar Materials for Civil Nuclear Power Component Joining

Anticipated start date for project: 1st October 2013

Closing date for applications: 31st July 2013

This project will investigate the use a high power (16 kW) laser robotic system at The University of Manchester for welding dissimilar metallic materials (firritic steel to Ni alloy and to stainless steel), in the fabrication nuclear reactor vessel components such as nozzle to pipe joints. The main challenge is to produce low dilution material deposition without cracking and distortion to the components. Laser and hybrid laser/MIG or laser/TIG welding technique will be invested. The material fracture toughness, integrity, microstructure/phase formation will be investigated and compared with existing welding technologies used in the nuclear industry.

The following will be carried out in the project.

  1. A literature review (first 3 months) on nuclear components, materials, existing welding methods, problems and challenges with a focus on welding dissimilar materials, scientific and technological backgrounds in laser welding and laser welding of dissimilar materials and to identify the knowledge gaps.
  2. Training on laser safety, use of lasers and material characterisation facilities.
  3. Design of experiments for laser welding and carry out systematic investigation of parameter interactions in laser welding of dissimilar materials (e.g. SA508 to Ni alloy and to 316L stainless steel).
  4. Examination of material behaviour in terms of composition, dilution, microstructure, cracking, porosity, residual stress, fracture toughness etc.
  5. Optimise the welding process using Design of Expert to minimise the defects and maximise the welding efficiency.
  6. Comparison of the laser welding technique with conventional arc welding and other existing welding techniques.
  7. Comparison with industrial standards for nuclear component fabrication.
  8. Finite element modelling of the welding process to understand the thermal history and residual stress characteristics.
  9. Publication of results in peer reviewed journals.
  10. Presentation of the results in seminars, workshops and conferences.

Interaction with academic and industrial personnel as necessary throughout the project.

Qualifications applicants should have/expected to receive:

1st or 2:1 in Engineering or a related science.

Amount of funding available and eligibility:

The studentship covers Home/EU or International tuition fees and a stipend of £13,726.

Contact for further information:

Informal enquiries regarding the project should be directed to the project supervisor: Professor Lin Li (email:

General enquiries relating to the postgraduate application process within the School should be directed to:

Marilyn Bryan

Postgraduate Research Admissions Administrator

Telephone +44(0) 161 275 4345


How to apply:

Further information on how to apply can be found via the ‘Apply’ button below.

Also Read  Fully Funded Studentships Building and evaluating the impact of social capital in care homes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *