Exit Menu

Next generation of free machining aluminium alloys

Applications are invited for ONE full-time EPSRC Industrial CASE (iCASE) PhD studentship for the project above at Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), Brunel University London starting from 1st October 2019. BCAST is an internationally-recognised research centre for innovative and leading-edge research in the field of solidification and metal processing of light alloys. It hosts the national centre of excellence in liquid metal engineering (Future LiME Research Hub) and the national scale up facilities in liquid metal engineering (Advanced Metal Casting Centre, AMCC) and light metal processing (Advanced Metal Processing Centre, AMPC). See http://bcast.brunel.ac.uk for more information. The project is sponsored by Constellium, a global leading manufacturer of high-quality technically advanced aluminium products and systems. Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend of circa £20,000 and payment of their full time home tuition fees for 4 years (48 months). 


Free machining alloys use low melting point additions of elements such as Pb, Bi and Sn to provide chip breaking mechanisms which impart excellent free machining properties to aluminium alloys. Environmental legislation is, however, driving the removal of Pb, together with a reduction in Bi and Sn additions. This requires the development of a new range of free machining alloys with equivalent machinability to the Pb containing alloys but with lower levels of Bi and Sn and or a hard particle second phase particle structure to act as chip breakers. The application of melt conditioning techniques offers the ability to have a dramatic impact on the chip breaking mechanisms.  The successful candidate will develop and optimise the melt treatment processing conditions for a new generation of free machining aluminium alloys.  The research will involve liquid metal processing using industrial scale facilities at AMCC. The processed specimens will be analysed using a combination of optical/ electron microscopies and machining test method to understand the effect of compositional and processing conditions on microstructure and machinability.  The project will be part of the activities of the Constellium University Technology Centre (UTC) established with BCAST. You will be interacting with researchers in BCAST and Constellium’s industrial research engineers. A strong background in physical metallurgy is essential and experience in microstructural characterisation is desirable.    


Informal enquiries should be directed to Professor Isaac Chang, Head of LiME Training Centre at isaac.chang@brunel.ac.uk or +44(0)1895 268491


You should have or expect to receive a first degree at 2:1 or above in a suitable engineering and science discipline, e.g. metallurgy, materials science, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, etc. A Master’s level qualification is desirable but not essential.

Applicants must be eligible for home tuition fees through either nationality, residency (living in the UK for at least three years and not wholly for educational purposes) or other connection to the UK. 

How to apply

Please email the following to isaac.chang@brunel.ac.uk AND cedps-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk by 31st August 2019:

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your single A4 page, single-spaced personal statement setting out why you are interested in undertaking this project;
  • Your degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Evidence of your English language capability to IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, if appropriate;
  • Names and contact details for two academic referees.