Tallinna Tehnikaülikool

PhD Project in Mechanical Engineering

Thesis title: Ceramic-metal powders by combustion synthesis
for additive manufacturing
PhD Programme: Mechanical Engineering
Supervisor: Irina Hussainova, Professor
Co-supervisor: Sofiya Aydinyan, Researcher
Offered by: School of Engineering,
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Global competition among technological giants and demand for new medical, automotive and aerospace applications has fueled research focused on the design and development of novel multifunctional materials and smart structures, herewith optimizing the speed of the manufacturing process, adopting zero waste production technology and utilizing minimum energy. The fabrication of ceramic compact materials with specified microstructure and physical-mechanical properties, as well as with multi-axis geometries via additive manufacturing (AM) technologies offers challenges for the science and industry in terms of fabrication of refractory composite powders of the tailored physical-chemical properties, controlled chemistry and excellent flow characteristics. The PhD project focuses on the design, fabrication and development of novel ceramic core-metallic shell composite powders with tailored and well-controlled physical-mechanical properties for the AM processes by an advanced combustion synthesis technology and to produce ceramic based components with sophisticated geometry. Recently is has been demonstrated that core-shell structured powders of metal shell provides a relevant laser absorption, while the ceramic core provides mechanical durability demonstrating an applicability of AM in combination with combustion synthesis and process optimization for creation of complex ceramic structures with tailored geometry and mechanical properties.

The proposed research is motivated by several industrial collaborative projects aiming at development of core-shell structured ceramic composite powder; strong and light-weight ceramic based structures; and functionalized high temperature ceramics for multipurpose applications.

To develop the ceramic/metal (metalloid) core-shell structured powders for processing by Additive Manufacturing through Selective Laser Sintering through energy and time efficient combustion synthesis; and to develop a technological procedure for sintering and further functionalization of composite parts.

The specific tasks of the PhD work are:

  • The development of the strategy and design the combustion synthesis route for producing the core-shell powders of controllable microstructure and composition
  • Thermodynamic calculations and experiments to find out optimum combustion synthesis conditions of the target materials, govern synthesis parameters to tailor powders characteristics
  • Synthesis of the bulk specimens using additive manufacturing method of selective laser melting and/or advanced methods of powder metallurgy (SPS, HIP, HP-HT)
  • Comprehensive analysis of the composites and parts (microstructural features; mechanical and tribological behavior)