New ceramic coatings for Small Modular Reactors

Edward Williamson
Industrial Fellow 2017

Edward Williamson
Rolls-Royce plc and the University of Surrey
CDT in Micro- and NanoMaterials and Technologies

Edward is developing new coating materials for components in small modular reactors (SMRs), a type of factory built fission reactor. SMRs have the potential to revolutionise the nuclear energy industry. Components in nuclear environments have to withstand high levels of irradiation, wear and corrosion so coatings are vitally important for component longevity.

Current components in reactors are typically coated in hard chrome plating using electro deposition, but the coating process creates carcinogens. Around the world, governments are creating regulations that will curb the levels of chemical pollution from the industrial process such as the EU’s REACH legislation. Edward’s new coatings will provide alternatives with reduced environmental impact, which could also have higher resistance to irradiation, wear and corrosion thus extending the lifespan of SMR components.

"Components in nuclear environments have to withstand high levels of irradiation"

Edward is an EngD Research Engineer, working jointly at Rolls-Royce and the University of Surrey. He graduated with a first-class MPhys in Physics with Medical Physics from the University of Sheffield in 2015.  Following this he moved to the University of Surrey to commence his EngD at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training for Micro- and Nano-Materials and Technologies.

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