Professor Ping Xiao, Materials Science Center, University of Manchester
27 May 2010 12:30
LT 1.51 RSM building

Yttria stablized zirconia (YSZ) has been widely used as structural materials, electrolyte for solid oxide cells and thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) for aero-engine applications. The ceramic coating research group at the School of Materials, University of Manchester has mainly focus on study of TBCs and ceramic coatings for nuclear industry application.

The group has developed a novel technique to fabricate (YSZ) coatings on metal substrates as TBCs. Meanwhile, the group has been working closely with Rolls-Royce and ASLTOM to investigate degradation mechanisms of TBCs used for high temperature environments. In this group, impedance spectroscopy has been used as a non-destructive tool to evaluate degradation of TBCs after service. Experimental impedance measurements of TBCs are coupled with finite element modelling of impedance spectra of YSZ, which allows us to examine microstructure evolution and phase transformation in TBCs after being exposed to high temperature environments.

Meanwhile, photo-luminescence spectroscopy has been used to measure residual stresses in TBCs while both micro- and nano-indentation have been used to determine mechanical properties of TBCs. In addition, both scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy have been used to examine the microstructure and chemistry of TBCs. The objective of these studies is to identify key factors, which control the failure mechanisms and lifetime of TBCs.

Ping Xiao studied Chemistry in Jilin University, China, and went to Oxford University in 1989 for DPhil study in Materials. He became a lecturer in Brunel University in 1996, then senior lecturer in 2000 after being a research fellow from 1993 to 1996. He joined Manchester University, Materials Science Centre as a Lecturer in 2001 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2003, Reader in 2005, and Professor in 2008.

Ping Xiao's research ranges from fabrication of ceramic coatings for aero engine application, developing ceramic coatings for nuclear fuel application, to performance study of ceramic thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) in service. His research group pioneers in developing impedance spectroscopy to evaluate degradation of thermal barrier coatings. In addition, his team has studied residual stresses and mechanical properties of TBCs in relation to service condition of the TBC. Currently, Prof. Xiao's team is involved in a £90 million project on ‘Strategic Affordable Manufacturing in the UK with Leading Environmental Technology (SAMULET)' in collaboration with Rolls-Royce and a few top universities in the UK while the research at Manchester is focused on developing the next generation thermal barrier coating for aero-engine application.

Xiao's group is also developing chemical vapour deposition to fabricate multilayer ceramic coatings on particles for nuclear energy industry. His team is involved a €10 million European project on Basic Research for Innovative Fuels Design for GEN IV systems (F-BRIDGE) where his team collaborates with most of top nuclear research organisations, eg. CEA of France, and a few top universities in Europe, University of Cambridge. Recently Xiao and his colleagues at University of Manchester and Imperial College have secured funding of £1.16 million from EPSRC, UK, to study ceramics for nuclear fuel applications.