Additive manufacturing of stainless steel based nanocomposites

About this project

Project description

The demand for higher performance materials with optimum combinations of properties, including corrosion resistance is steadily becoming more critical. 316L stainless steel used for highly critical application such as gas/jet turbine engines, oil and gas pipelines owing to its exceptionally high corrosion resistance at ambient and high temperatures. Now there is always the need for enhanced its structural strength without compromising the corrosion resistance. Although stainless steel based ceramic particle reinforced composites, nanocomposites in particular, are promising to achieve this goal, addition of the reinforcement has been a long term challenge unless highly costive powder metallurgy is used. The additive manufacturing technology provides a powerful and suitable tool to produce solve the problem. Therefore, this project aims to design and develop a new class of 316L stainless steel based ceramics-reinforced high-strength nanocomposites with superior mechanical and chemical properties using laser powder fusion (LPBF) additive manufacturing technology (AM). The added ceramic particles can not only provides strengthening to the matrix, but also refine the microstructure, leading to high strength and high ductility in addition to the advantages of AM for producing engineering parts with complicated shapes. This PhD research project includes identification of proper ceramic particles to be added, optimization of the volume fraction of reinforcement, selection of suitable particles size, evaluation of the microstructure evolution during LPBF and understanding of the strengthening and toughening mechanisms.

The successful candidate will study at UQ at first to design and develop techniques to actually produce the 316L-based nanocomposites up on proper processing parameters optimization of LPBF. Then, materials characterization and post-processing treatments would be done at IITD.


  1. Well-developed laser powder bed fusion techniques to fabricate stainless steel based composites with superior properties.
  2. One patent.
  3. 4 to 8 papers published in top international journals in the areas of materials and additive manufacturing.

Information for applicants

Essential capabilities

Sound knowledge in materials science and engineering, basic skills of materials characterization.

Desireable capabilities

Basic knowledge of laser additive manufacturing , some research experience.

Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.)

Bachelor with first class honors or equivalent.

Project supervisors

Principal supervisors

UQ Supervisor

Professor Mingxing Zhang

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
IITD Supervisor

Assistant professor Ayan Bhowmik

Department of Materials Science and Engineering