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Location: Great Abington, Cambridge

Number of placements: 4

Period of placements: Placements typically last 10-12 weeks between early July and September.

Accommodation arrangements: TWI does not arrange accommodation. The company is located in South Cambridgeshire and accessible via an organised bus service from the centre of Cambridge of about eight miles to its Granta Park site. Students are usually able to arrange their own accommodation (e.g., in College).

Profile of firm:

Established in Cambridge in 1946, TWI is one of Europe’s largest independent contract research and technology organisations. Alongside its professional institution, The Welding Institute, it delivers advances in materials engineering and joining technologies – critical to engineering design and industry practice.

The organisation is responsible for establishing world Standards and Codes of Practice, developing new processes and applying expertise to discover why welded joints and engineering structures fail.  

With five UK laboratories and eight worldwide, TWI is a member based organisation, which also drives an international training and examinations network taking knowhow to regions seeking growth through skills development. In 2015, TWI will open The National Structural Integrity Research Centre - a postgraduate education centre for structural integrity research.

TWI welcomes applications from students who are on track to achieve a minimum 2.1 degree in a relevant engineering or science discipline and can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, self-management, team working and customer focus.

Project areas:

TWI works closely with the oil and gas, power, aerospace, automotive, ship and rail sectors. Example projects from previous years include:

Friction stir spot welding of aluminium alloys
Project: Process capability of refill friction stir spot welding for joining aluminium alloys

A project is underway to assess the capability of refill friction stir spot welding (FSSW) for joining 6xxx and 7xxx aluminium alloys. The successful candidate will use a combination of metallography and mechanical test results to compare welds made on different commercial systems. Key variables for differentiation of refill FSSW may include cycle and welding times, material flow, thermal damage and mechanical properties, frictional dissipation energy and economic benefits.

Non-destructive testing
Project one : X-ray tomography imaging of additive manufactured components

TWI is working as part of a consortium to develop a generic quality control method to improve a wide range of advanced net shape manufacturing processes, namely powder metallurgy (PM), metal  injection moulding (MIM), powder injection moulding (PIM) and hot isostatic pressing (HIP). As part of this project the student will produce tomographic images of a range of typical flaws and investigate their performance under stress. Required background: Physics or materials science.

Project two: Stereoscopic reconstruction of weld profile

TWI is working as part of a consortium on the development of a laser guided scanning robot for ship hulls. We have identified the possibility of replacing the laser guidance with depth perception stereo cameras. As part of this project the student will generate code to reconstruct the profile of a weld. Input will come from a COTS stereo camera and the code should run on and nVidia Jetson TX1. Required background: electrical or information engineering.

Numerical Modelling of Friction Stir Welding
Project: Coupled Eulerian Lagrangian (CEL) Modelling of Dissimilar Metal FSW

TWI has a long history of involvement in the modelling of welding and joining processes, in particular that of friction stir welding (FSW). Previous modelling approaches have focused on analytic equations of heat fluxes and computational fluid dynamics. Process simulations enable engineers to obtain accurate predictions of residual stresses and distortions, which can help optimise process parameters. Recently, Coupled Eulerian Lagrangian (CEL) modelling has been identified as a technique that can accurately capture the high temperature plastic flow of materials during the FSW process. The successful candidate will build on existing TWI capabilities to implement a model of friction stir welding of dissimilar metals that can account for tool geometry and accurate high temperature/high deformation physics. Model predictions will be validated against existing experimental data.

Further project opportunities may be defined.

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