Due to the ongoing uncertainty with regards to Covid-19 we are following Swansea University policy and the M2A team are currently working from home. The M2A remains open and can be contacted via the usual phone number, email and social media channels. If you have applied for one of our projects the interview schedule may be affected. We will contact applicants in due course with further information.

Super Duplex Stainless Steels - The Influence of copper and tungsten additions on passivity and pitting corrosion resistance

Key Information

Academic supervisor: Dr Natalie Wint
Industry supervisor: Mr Rodney Rice, C.Eng

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Super duplex stainless steels (SDSS) offer an appealing combination of properties, providing superior levels of strength and corrosion resistance than more heavily-alloyed (and expensive) alternatives.
Langley Alloys developed the first super duplex alloy, Ferralium 255 (S32550) in 1967. Since then, S32760 (developed by Mather & Platt) and S32750 (developed by Sandvik) have been developed. Although all are based on a 25 wt.%  chromium composition, there are subtle variations in composition – predominantly differences in Cu and W, claimed to influence pitting corrosion resistance.
The influence of both Cu and W additions on corrosion performance has been studied by numerous groups. However, the results are not consistent and vary significantly with choice of electrolyte/environmental conditions. This means that a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms by which these SDSS afford corrosion resistance is still yet to be determined.

Project Aims:
The successful candidate will work as part of the leading corrosion group at Swansea University. The project will utilise advanced techniques such as SVET and time-lapse microscopy as well as more conventional electrochemical methods to;
1) Gain greater insight into the passivation phenomenon from Cu (and W) additions in SDSS
2) Identify conditions under which chosen alloy(s) provide enhanced performance
3) Seek to identify optimum alloy additions based upon insight gained of passivation phenomenon

Predicted Outcomes:
A key outcome of the project will be the ability to articulate not only why Cu and W additions are important to the corrosion resistance of each alloy, but also how they achieve that different performance.
The results will be used to support technical marketing of the products, informing alloy selection for commercial projects. It will also be used to direct future alloy developments that aim to enhance corrosion performance.

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 world­class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. The M2A is committed to providing top quality 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 opportunity 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.

Before submitting an application for the project, please see our Hints & Tips document which can be found here.

Sponsoring Company Langley Alloys Ltd
Company Website Eligibility

We welcome applications with Materials Science & Engineering preferred, but other physical sciences accepted (Engineering disciplines, Physics, Chemistry), 2.1 or 1st class degree preferred, or equivalent relevant experience that would enable the candidate to fulfil the role.
Normally, we would expect candidates to have met the University’s English Language requirements (e.g. IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) by point of application.
Full eligibility can be found at https://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility


Fees at Home / EU rate, and Stipend £12,500, both for the period of one year.
For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website (Student Eligibility | M2A).
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is not open to ‘International’ candidates.

Closing Date 5 April 2021

Start Date October 2021

Download Application Pack

Applications and informal enquiries about this studentship should be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk