25/04/17 - Fusion CDT highly rated in Mid-term Review
The Centre for Doctoral Training in Fusion, in which the Oxford MFFP group is a partner, has recently been reviewed by EPSRC. The outcome was very favourable. Some extracts from the assessment:
"Student recruitment is strong giving the CDT a large pool to choose from. The student cohort activities appear strong, with good cohort building and a useful pre-sessional module system that allows accepted students to prepare in advance of formally starting ..... Engagement with other fusion research institutions is excellent, both nationally and internationally. The provision of student training has been recognised as the best in Europe .... It is good to see that there is evidence of working with the nuclear fission CDTs, mostly in the materials area, organising a joint workshop."
20/04/17 - Felix Hofmann's and Ed Tarleton's work on FIB damage in Oxford University News
'The research shows that FIB beams have much further-reaching consequences than first thought, and that the structural damage caused is considerable. It affects the entire sample, fundamentally changing the material. Given the role FIB has come to play in science and technology, there is an urgent need to develop new strategies to properly understand the effects of FIB damage and how it might be controlled.'
More information here.
21/12/16 - Sequential nucleation of phases in a 17-4PH steel
Guma Yeli, Maria Auger, Paul Bagot, George Smith and Michael Moody in the Atom probe tomography group of the Department of Materials in collaboation with Keith Wilford in Rolls Royce have studied the microstructure and mechanical properties of 17-4PH steel under thermal ageing at 4800C and 5900C. The findings have been reported recently in Acta Materialia. For the first time, the sequential nucleation and growth of Cu-rich precipitates (CRPs), Nb-rich precipitates, Cr- rich precipitates and Mn, Ni Si (MNS) - rich phase has been characterized at the atomic scale. The precipitates that are initially nucleated have been found to act as favoured sites for heterogenous nucleation of subsequent phases. MNS phase precipitates were transformed from Nb-rich precipitates. This study also works to correlate the microstructure to the observed mechanical properties. The contributions of precipitates on the precipitation hardening has been estimated and compared with the Vickers hardness results.
01/10/16 - New research students join MFFP team
Bruce Bromage - Dislocation based modelling of engineering alloys - ET,AJW
- Daniel Celis Garza - Dislocation based modelling of fusion relevant engineering alloys - AJW,ET
- Thomas Davis - Effects of Neutron damage on structural materials for nuclear fusion - DEJA, MPM
- Matthew Lloyd - Nanoscale characterisation of tungsten-alloys for nuclear fusion - DEJA
- Like Mo - In situ study of atmosphere stress corrosion cracking in engineering alloys under controlled humidity environments - TJM
10/10/16 - Quantifying yield behaviour in metals by X-ray nanotomography
James Marrow and Dave Armstrong, with colleagues from Bristol and Manchester, have used X-ray tomography and digital volume correlation in a unique study that measured the three-dimensional displacement field below a nano indentation. Their paper, published in Scientific Reports, addresses the problem that whilst it is possible to measure elastic properties and yield strength via nanoindentation, it is difficult to investigate strain hardening as the load-displacement data alone do not provide a unique solution for the material's plastic properties. The three-dimensional map of the displacements beneath the indentation provides additional information that overcomes this difficulty, so the strain hardening exponent can then be extracted using an inverse finite element simulation. The paper describes how the new analysis is applied to a nano- structured oxide dispersion strengthened steel, which has potential applications in advanced nuclear energy systems. They aim to study the plastic behaviour of proton irradiated steels in future work; protons simulate the effects of the fast neutron spectra of future nuclear energy systems, but only affect a shallow layer that may be investigated by nanoindentation.
17/10/16 - Rebecca Bradford joins MFFP administration team
Rebecca is now PA to Steve Roberts, Angus Wilkinson, James Marrow and David Armstrong. Rebecca is able to help you with any finance or admin enquiries.
26/07/16 - European Students Divertor Research Workshop, 26-28 September 2016
In September we will be hosting the first European Students Divertor Research Workshop (EuSDiv) in Oxford. A key aim of this workshop is to build collaboration between the next generation of fusion divertor researchers. The topics will range from plasma physics through to engineering, and the majority of the speakers will be current PhD students. More Information.
10/06/16 - EPSRC Platform Grant awarded
Our funding bid for a £1.3M Platform Grant in "Advanced Nuclear Materials" to support early-career researchers has been successful.
11/4/16 - EPSRC review of UK Fission and Fusion research
This can now be found at: https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/pubs/indrevfissionfusion/.
Some quite complimentary things are said about the growth in and prospects for materials research linking fission and fusion.
Prof. A. Kimura, Prof. R. Kasada, and 7 members of their fusion research group from Kyoto University visited Oxford Materials and CCFE for 3 days. The normal Friday group meeting was extended to a full morning of talks and discussions, followed by a visit to JET, MAST and the new Materials Research Facility at Culham.