The Effect of Peening on Isothermal and Non-isothermal Fatigue Behaviour in Nickel Disc Alloy RR1000

Key Information

Supervisor: Dr M Whittaker.

This advert will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. Do not delay, submit your application today.

Expected Interview Date: As soon as can be arranged.

The project provides opportunity to expand on areas of thermo mechanical fatigue research, and to consider an associated critical issue in high performance nickel alloys, that if surface treatments.

Large scale testing programmes undertaken at Swansea University demonstrate the requirement for optimisation of surface treatment prior to lifing programmes for critical parts, where shot peening is used to improve fatigue life and resistance to handling damage. However, the complex interaction of residual stress with the work hardening layer can significantly influence crack nucleation in comparison to polished specimens, as residual stresses relax at high temperatures leaving only a rougher surface more suitable for cracks to initiate. Producing an optimum surface finish to deliver appropriate protection whilst also minimising fatigue life debit over polished specimens is of great strategic importance. It is hoped that guidelines established for current alloys can be used to inform future lifing programmes, minimising the need for expensive large-scale testing.

In service temperatures of new alloys continue to increase, and the influence of thermo mechanical fatigue behaviour on operations cannot be ignored. Exploratory studies indicate significant reductions in fatigue lives at temperatures approaching 750°C and oxidation and mean stress effects become increasingly significant.

The Research Engineer will:

Explore the complex interaction of creep, oxidation, thermo mechanical fatigue and surface finish on crack nucleation at high temperatures, through testing involving variations in phase angle, strain rate, peak cycle temperature and dwell time.

Explore appropriate lifing methodologies for complex geometries under thermo mechanical fatigue loading.

Use high temperature test data to assess feasibility of using isothermal data in the prediction of thermo mechanical fatigue behaviours, as a cost saving measure.

Consider any shortfalls identified and to develop new lifing approaches to take account of peak cycle temperature and phase angle, in order to deliver improved predictions.

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.

Interwoven through the research study are business, technical and entrepreneurial courses, designed to support and prepare participants for a senior role in industry or academia, on completion of their studies. Research Engineers may participate in our career mentoring system, offering opportunities to engage with M2A alumni and other senior staff from across the University.

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.

Sponsoring Company Rolls Royce plc

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 WEFO funding, applicants should:

  • Be a UK or EU citizen (eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of their studies.
  • Be resident within West Wales and the Valleys at the time of enrolment and for the duration of the candidature.
  • Must not be financially able to participate in study for a postgraduate research degree without the award of this funding.

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.


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

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 31 July 2019

Start Date October 2019

Apply Now

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