Development of an experimental procedure for measuring the properties of liquid metals on earth using electromagnetic levitation

Site SIMaP

The laboratory SIMAP is seeking a candidate in material sciences or process engineering, for a PhD on experimental electromagnetic levitation.
A good knowledge of the thermophysical properties (density, surface tension, viscosity, specific heat, thermal conductivity, …) of metals in liquid state is essential to use them in composite materials as well as to master the elaboration of metallic alloys. Yet, high melting temperature and chemical reactivity of liquid metals imply that during such measurements the sample should not be in contact with any other objects (crucible, supports, …) and that the atmosphere should be perfectly controlled to preserve the purity of the materials. The use of electromagnetic levitation is a very attractive solution because it allows one to overcome these difficulties. Yet, although electromagnetic levitation is feasible in Terrestrial conditions, the electromagnetic force that makes the sample levitate also creates forced convection inside the liquid sample that can disturb the measurement procedure. In order to dampen such convective effects, a second, continuous magnetic field can be used. A “proof of concept” of this idea was demonstrated with a first version of the experimental installation which was modified and currently the second version of the experimental installation is under development. The thesis project is related to the implementation of the second version of the set-up, the carrying out of experiments on known materials and further extension to experiments over complex materials. During the thesis, feasibility of a measurement procedure based on the use of white noise, which was proposed elsewhere, will be studied. The experimental work will be supported by numerical simulations and will also require the processing of experimental data, notably based on the theory of dynamic systems. Currently a new set-up for the experiments under continuous magnetic field is being manufactured whereas a prototype (test) set-up is already available. The latter will be used to finalise the development of data collection system and of the measurement procedure.


A candidate would be expected from materials science and / or process engineering, with some (basic) notions in numerical methods. The candidate should be attracted by experimental activity. Basic knowledge in theory of heat and mass transfer processes and in electromagnetism would be relevant.


Deadline for application: May 20, 2020

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