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The failure mechanisms of organic coatings on Zinc Aluminum Magnesium substrates under exposure to natural conditions and accelerated corrosion environments.

Key Information

Supervisors: Dr N Wint

Expected Interview Date: March 2020

Coil coatings are used to protect aluminium and steel from natural environments, whereby adhesion and anticorrosive protection are the essential properties to maintain good corrosion resistance. Many steel products are based of hot dip galvanised steel coated with a pretreatment, a primer, and a topcoat. In the last few years, steel producers have developed lower thicknesses of the galvanising layer-using an alloy of 10 microns of zinc aluminum magnesium (ZAM) in order to decrease the total cost of the substrate by reducing the thickness of the sacrificial layer, offering the same corrosion protection as thicker zinc layer of 20 microns.

In the last decade, the industry partner has developed and commercialised chromate free primers for ZAM substrates with varying success.  The same primer was found to have varying corrosion resistance when coated on different grades of ZAM substrates. In addition, polyester cross-linked with isocyanate generally has better corrosion resistance than polyester cross-linked with melamine.

The aims of the project are to investigate and monitor the corrosion failure mechanisms of coil coatings on different grades of ZAM substrates. To study the coatings behaviour when exposed in salt spray, Prohesion, and the natural site at Bohus Malmon and to correlate with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and scanning vibrating electrode (SVET).  Raman or IR spectroscopy could be used to identify the corrosion products produced during the testing.


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 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. 


Sponsoring Company Beckers
For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website.
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is not open to ‘International’ candidates.
Company Website Eligibility
We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent experience to the same level.
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. 



Fees at UK/EU rate and stipend of £20000 per annum for a period of four years. 
For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website.
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is not open to ‘International’ candidates.
Closing Date 1 April 2020

Start Date October 2020

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