Robert Howell

Research Area:
Alloy Development

I received my master’s degree in chemistry (MChem) from the University of Southampton in 2014, also spending time at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) to complete projects focussed on nanomaterials.

This was followed by industrial work in the field of analytical chemistry. Since then I have joined the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems.

Current Research

My research is currently focussed on the investigation and design of tantalum based alloys for high heat flux environment, working closely with UK based technology company Metalysis.

My project aims to utilise the Metalysis FFC process to efficiently produce tantalum alloy powders, this involves the electrochemical reduction of tantalum pentoxide in a molten salt electrolyte.

The resulting alloy powders will then be assessed to establish their suitability for cold spray deposition, to eventually produce heat resistant, corrosion resistant and micro-structurally dense claddings. It has been proposed that such claddings could be used in areas where high heat fluxes are necessary, for example in fusion reactors and solar concentrators.