Studentship – EPSRC Industrial CASE Award With Tata Steel

An Investigation into the Mechanical Properties of Spot Welds in Automotive Steels

The studentship covers the cost of tuition fees at the home rate and provides an annual stipend at the standard UK research rate (£13,726 in 2013/14), as well as a CASE top-up award of £2000 per annum.

Supervisors: Dr H Ghadbeigi & Dr C Pinna

In order to solve the problem of spot weld reliability and robustness in AHSS/UHSS next generation automotive steel grades it is necessary to first understand the failure mechanisms on a micro-structural level and use the knowledge gained to develop improvements to the spot welding process and to produce reliable predictive tools and models of spot welded joints to give confidence in the automotive design process.

The proposed project aims at detailed identification of different failure modes in various AHSS/UHSS asnd next generation automotive steels, in relation to their weld and heat affected zone microstructures to provide a relaible robust design tool for predicting failure and strength of resistance spot welds in automotive steel parts. This will aid in the design of new steels or allow researchers to advise the automotive industry on proper welding schedules to increase the weld strength.

Standard and non-standard mechanical testing at micro- and macro-scale will be used to develop and validate deformation and failure models of material at different welding zones. State of the art measurement techniques will be applied to identify the required parameters. The developed models will be implemented into advanced FE codes to predict failure modes at the spot welds.

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Entry Requirements

The studentship is available to candidates with a first class or upper second class degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering or Materials Science and Technology.

Skills in mechanics of materials (design and data analysis in mechanical testing), metallurgy of metallic materials and finite element analysis (preferably using ABAQUS package and programming with Fortran/C++) are desirable.

A relevant research background in fracture/damage mechanics and welding processes would be favourable.

Due to funding restrictions this studentship is open to UK/EU nationals only, and includes a three month apprenticeship at Tata Steel.

Starting date: January 2014


For further information and an informal discussion about the project please contact Dr H Ghadbeigi: To apply, please use our on-line PhD application form, including your CV and two references by clicking on the ‘Apply’ button below. Please indicate on your form that you are replying to this advert.

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