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Materials Engineering Group

Research / Completed Projects / David Bacon

David Bacon - Completed Project

David Bacon

My Project

I am David Bacon and my PhD project was entitled Properties of a steel based metal matrix composite , which I began in October 2002.

Before starting my PhD, I received a 1st class honours in BSc in Sports Technology at Sheffield Hallam University . My first degree involved the design of sports equipment and arenas, involving basic maths, physics and engineering.

Myresearch at The Open University led on from this, and allowed me to further develop my knowledge and skills not just in the subject of Materials Engineering, but more general skills such as communication, presentation and time keeping skills to an Expert level.

The objective of my project was to investigate the properties of this novel material, and then to propose what, (if any) applications it may have. This involved investigating the properties of this material, which is a steel based metal matrix (which in laymen terms is steel, with normally a ceramic reinforcement). This involved conducting tests like fracture toughness, fatigue life, fatigue crack growth rates not just only to specific standards but also I developed an automated fatigue crack growth testing system. My project also covered the load sharing between the metal matrix and the reinforcement using a Synchrotron Source, and detailed Scanning Electron Microscopy to denote the fracture mechanisms of this particular composite.

Fatigue surface, SEM image

Machines used for experiments


During my PhD Ipublished an article of my work, the detais of which are;

Bacon, D. Moffatt, J. Edwards, L. Fitzpatrick, M.E. Tarrant, A.D. (2004). Metal Matrix Composites: In the driving seat. Proceedings of International Conference on the Engineering of Sport 5. Vol 2 . pp 216-222.

I am currently working on a number of papers which will be ready for publication in the summer of 2005.

The results of my project are looking promising and hopefully this material should have many applications within the aerospace and automotive industries, and am on schedule to finish on time in September 2005.

My interests include motorcycle trials, rugby, snowboarding, travel and all-round general fitness. I frequently compete in motorcycle trial events in which I achieved a high level of success, finishing 4 th in the National Youth Championships and 2 nd in the adult clubman championship. I was also elected East Midlands Trials coach in 1998 2004, responsibilities involved development of young talent within this area. I am also currently a member of the Milton Keynes R.U.F.C First team.

What does the future hold, I am unsure but look forward to the fresh new challenges that employment will bring.

Research Supervisors were Professor Lyndon Edwards, Professor Mike Fitzpatrick and Dr Jim Moffatt.

If you would like to contact me for further information please contact me via one of the above people.

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