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Alice Appleby Wins NSIRC Conference ‘Best Poster’ Award

Tue, 20 June, 2023

University of Birmingham PhD student, Alice Appleby won the award for ‘best poster’ at this year’s National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NISIRC) Conference.

Alice’s PhD, which is jointly sponsored by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and TWI’s Core Research Programme, is focused on exploring powder metallurgy hot isostatic pressing (PM HIP) technology for the nuclear industry.

Her studies are following the theme of, ‘Influence of powder quality on the mechanical properties of HIPed materials for safety critical components,’ with Alice being based at TWI near Cambridge.

Alice’s PhD work is looking into the application of hot isostatic pressing (HIPing) as a near net-shape manufacturing method to produce high value structural parts for the nuclear industry. Her work includes an examination of the influence of powder quality and processing parameters on the final microstructure and mechanical properties of HIPed materials, with Alice using the University of Birmingham’s proton and neutron irradiation facilities to understand the effects of radiation on HIPed materials.

The research work conducted by Alice has already investigated HIPing oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) stainless steel, which is commonly used in the nuclear industry, with nanoparticles of yttrium oxide (Y2O3) in order to increase the creep- and irradiation- resistance of the material.

The aim is to confirm and quantify improvements in the mechanical and irradiation resistance properties of HIPed ODS materials, as well as offer a greater understand of the effects of nano-sized Y2O3 particles on the HIPed materials’ microstructure especially during exposure to irradiation conditions.

This research is due to be expanded to cover other types of ODS alloy, such as ferritic/martensitic steels alloys and pure tungsten. These materials have potential uses in nuclear fusion reactors, but more data is required to understand how to use HIPing to produce bulk components.

Because they can operate at higher temperatures and under greater doses per atom than un-strengthened steel, ODS materials are of real interest within the nuclear industry where they could allow reactors to run more efficiently at high temperatures, increasing the lifecycle of assets through increased resistance to irradiation induced degradation.

Alice acknowledges the support of her supervisors Dr Raja Khan (CEng FWeldI FIMMM) and Moataz Attallah as well as National Structural Integrity Research Centre, TWI, Lloyd's Register Foundation and AMPLab at University of Birmingham for enabling her to conduct this exciting research work.

We would like to congratulate Alice on her poster, which you can see, below:

NSIRC Conf Poster 2023 - pdf - 2mb

For more information please email: