Research into the behaviour of materials in extreme dynamic environments, such as an explosive blast, is of continuing interest and importance. This PhD opportunity will investigate the effect of two shock impacts on two industrially important lightweight materials; aluminium and titanium. The first impact will be tailored to induce voids within the material but not fracture it, the second will recompact those voids. Materials characterisation and mechanical tests will investigate the changes to the properties of the metals induced by the impacts.  Read more Read less

Shock impact is an extreme loading event and hence material response is vastly different to conventional loading scenarios, but is relatively poorly understood. One result of a shock impact can be spalling; the detaching of a flake of material from the back face of the bulk.  

This project will look to generate early stage spall, ie nucleate voids within intact materials, and then investigate the resultant effects on the mechanical and microstructural properties when the metal is subject to a second shock impact, re-compacting the void region. Careful control of the initial impactor conditions, utilising shock recovery techniques, will enable the control of, and study the effects of, the dispersal of the voids (width of spall plane) and the density of the voids. In addition, the different crystal structures of the aluminium and titanium are expected to respond to the shock loading and re-compaction very differently.  

This project offers the opportunity for studying the material and mechanical behaviour of important industrial materials in extreme environments.

At a glance

  • Application deadline11 Sep 2020
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Start date28 Sep 2020
  • Duration of award4 years
  • EligibilityEU, UK
  • Reference numberPHDCFI10

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline. This project would suit an applicant with a strong materials science background.


Sponsored by AWE, EPSRC and Cranfield University, this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £17,000 (tax free) plus fees* for 4 years.

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Research students at Cranfield benefit from being part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and all become valued members of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary environment. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events, alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (transferable skills training), provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities.

How to apply

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form. Please quote the following title and reference number: PhD in "The material and mechanical response of metals to multiple shock loading impacts" with the reference number PHDCFI10. In addition to the application form, please attach a covering or motivational letter as well as a CV.

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