Development of heat treatable ultra--high strength Alloys for automotive applications

Lead Research Organisation: Brunel University
Department Name: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Advanced or engineering materials which include; metals, ceramics, composite materials, and superconductors, play a very crucial role as structural components in all branches of engineering. Therefore, it is very important to understand these materials fully in terms of structure, processing, characterisation and properties that make them suitable for applications. Research into these materials is now a mature field, spanning over decades. However, despite the advancements in the field, the ever-increasing demand for materials with specific properties means that work in this field is far from exhausted. Recent research [1] indicate that a step increase in the mechanical properties may be achieved by appropriate control of mechanical deformation and ageing at intermediate temperatures. The proposed work will focus on the solid-state processing of existing and modified Al alloys to achieve a step change in yield strength while retaining appropriate ductility. Microstructure and mechanical properties of these alloys will be characterised using the facilities at the Brunel University London to understand the combined role of deformation and precipitation on the enhancement of the properties observed.
Some of the proposed objectives of the research programme are but not limited to:
Development of aluminium alloys with high ultimate tensile strength while maintaining acceptable values of ductility and fracture toughness.
Use various characterisation techniques such as XRD and, TEM to probe the micro-structural properties of the high-performance alloys.
Measure the mechanical properties of the alloys; tensile strength, toughness and others.
Fabrication of novel specimens that can be used to evaluate the properties of the alloys for prototype development.
Document the results of the experimental investigations into a coherent thesis that meets the requirements of Brunel University for the award of a PhD degree.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R511869/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2022
2043889 Studentship EP/R511869/1 01/07/2018 06/03/2019 David Makuyana