Multiscale deformation modelling of small scale mechanical tests.

Key Information

Supervisors: Dr W Harrison and Prof S Brown

One of the aims of the Prosperity Partnership project is accurately evaluate the mechanical properties of a large number of steels from small scale tests. An important aspect of mechanical behaviour during steel making is anisotropic yield and work-hardening caused by rolling processes. Both hot and cold rolling result in metallurgical texture which effects mechanical properties and subsequent forming processes. This is a particular issue for thin sheet steels used for metal forming such as deep drawing grades.

As the size of the deforming material becomes smaller, the influence of microstructure becomes greater and continuum modelling approaches become less accurate. Modelling deformation of the microstructure using crystal plasticity finite element modelling (CPFEM) allows predictions of anisotropic deformation and damage to be made.


A continuum modelling approach is already being used in the Prosperity Partnership however, combining CPFEM with continuum deformation models for small scale mechanical tests such as small punch and shear compression will allow a more accurate evaluation of micromechanical behaviour. These models can then be applied to larger scale deformation processes such as rolling using a multiscale approach which can then be applied to larger scale deformation.

The primary aim of the project is to develop a CPFEM model for specific grades of steel. The model will be validated against small scale test data, using a multiscale approach based on representative volume elements (RVEs) with microstructural data such as grain and phase morphology. This approach will be used to predict damage in small scale tests as well as being used to evaluate the evolution of anisotropy during single and multi-stage deformation. The aim will be to ultimately apply the model to different sized rolling geometries, allowing predictions of the effects of scaling up the rolling processes. Initially the model will be applied to deformation at ambient temperature, with scope to extend to higher temperatures later. The multiscale approach will complement continuum models being developed as part of the Prosperity Partnership.

Swansea University is a top 30 UK institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

The Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) in the College of Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry; providing access to world-class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. The M2A is committed to delivering high quality collaborative research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry partners. 

The Athena SWAN charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committee to addressing unequal gender representation.

Applications from women are particularly welcomed. As a positive action to address gender imbalance, female undergraduates considering a career in research are invited to join our two-day laboratory taster session and learn about a typical day in the life of a research engineer.


We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Science degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent relevant experience to the same level to join the M2A community of research engineers.

To be eligible for EPSRC funding, applicants should:

  • Be eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University.
  • Have settled status in the UK, meaning no restrictions on the length of stay in the UK; and be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant, apart from temporary or occasional absences.
  • Not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK nationals and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education.

This Doctorate is supported by the EPSRC funded Prosperity Partnership on Rapid Alloy Development.

 Full fees at Home/EU rate for a period of four academic years. Maintenance stipend at £20K per annum for a period of four years.

Closing Date 15 March 2019

Start Date October 2019

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Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk