My PhD research, under the supervision of Professor Bradley Wynne and in conjunction with industrial partners NeoNickel Ltd. and Rolled Alloys Inc., concerns the thermo-mechanical processing of super duplex stainless steel with the aim of better understanding microstructure development during forging and final quality heat treatment of components for extreme environment applications in for example, offshore oil and gas sub sea pipework systems, water desalination and phosphoric acid production plant.
In this way it is hoped that improved service life and more efficient manufacturing can be achieved as well as extending the performance envelope of this particular class of engineering material.This is a multi-scale, multi-faceted project and during the course of my research I have employed finite element analysis to simulate the temperature, stress and strain distributions in components during forging and heat treatment. Additionally, I have also investigated experimental replication of the temperature and strain rate in industrial forging on the University’s Servotest Ltd.
Thermo-Mechanical Compression machine. This has formed the basis of the development of a constitutive flow model to describe the plasticity of super duplex alloys over a range of thermo-mechanical processing conditions.
I also employ the electron back scattered detection technique through the facilities in the University’s Sorby Centre for Electron Microscopy to analyse crystallographic textural developments as a result of thermo-mechanical processing.
My work also concerns establishing relationships between this crystallographic data and macro-scale mechanical properties such as impact toughness and hardness as determined though Charpy testing and nano indentation/Vickers hardness testing, respectively.