The development of more capable, more reliable titanium and nickel alloys used in aircraft and jet engines is an enabler for a low-carbon society and for growth in the UK manufacturing economy. My major focus is on the deformation behaviour of these alloys, and how alloy and microstructure changes can improve these alloys. I also do some work supporting the using of Zr in nuclear reactors.
In my group we use a range of techniques, including SEM, TEM and diffraction to understand behaviour. A particular focus is the use of synchrotron and neutron diffraction to characterise textures and microstrains in alloys, especially the development of in situ experiments. For those experiments we use major international facilities such as the ESRF, ISIS, SNS and Diamond.
The Impact of this resarch is the prospect of delivering safer, lower emissions air transport and energy systems. For example, our superalloys work holds the promise of temperature improvements on the order of 100K in jet engines, which across the worlwide civil fleet would equate to 200 mn t CO2/y, about half of the UK total. At the same time, this would support high value manufacturing in the UK, with the UK’s large jet engine exporter alone supporting around 100,000 UK jobs in the supply chain and exports of around £8bn/y.
David Dye is a Reader in the Department of Materials at Imperial, which he joined in 2003 from the National Research Council in Chalk River, Canada. His undergraduate degree and PhD were from Cambridge University, on the weldability of nickel-base superalloys. His postdoc work in Chalk River concerned the devleopment of neutron diffraction measurements in micromechanics, in situ welding and single crystal superalloys. He has also worked at a number of nuclear sites, beginning at Berkeley labs in the UK. At Imperial, he has been a hall Warden, Senior Tutor and teaches phase diagrams, stress tensors and alloying. He has graduated 16 Phd students and is widely cited for his work of titanium and nickel alloys.