Master thesis: Chemical interactions between wear-resistant coatings and metallic materials

Sandvik Coromant R&D in Västberga, Sweden offers a Master thesis position within Materials Chemistry / Materials Physics. The position is placed in Uppsala, Sweden.

Background and purpose

Sandvik Coromant is the world-leading manufacturer of tools for metal cutting, tools which consist of a WC-Co substrate and commonly a wear-resistant coating.

To be able to design optimal cutting tools an in-depth knowledge of the mechanisms involved in the wear and degradation of the tools is needed. In machining of complex materials such as Titanium- and Nickel-based alloys the wear mechanisms are highly complex, e.g. different types of abrasive and chemical wear occur simultaneously. As such, different testing methods apart from cutting tests are generally needed to study the chemical interactions in detail.

Diffusion couple testing is a well-established method to study chemical interactions with WC-Co. However, previous studies have been limited to uncoated WC-Co tools. The aim of this thesis project is to investigate chemical interactions between different coating materials and Titanium- and Nickel-based alloys. The goal is to increase the understanding of how and why the coating materials are worn out. The results from this master’s thesis project will contribute to the knowledge about how to design optimized coatings for machining of Titanium- and Nickel-based materials.

Work description

The work will consist of making diffusion couple experiments between different coating materials and Titanium-/Nickel-based materials. The experiments will be conducted in such a way that the chemical wear mechanisms can be isolated, which is highly complicated in a real cutting situation. If time allows, the results from the diffusion experiments will be correlated to metal cutting experiments.

A large part of the work will consist of material characterization, in the form of light optical microscopy, electron microscopy, and different spectroscopy techniques.

The work will be carried out at Uppsala University at the institution for chemistry – Ångström laboratory, department of inorganic chemistry as a part of the CVD 2.0 project.

Your profile

Master students in materials chemistry, materials physics or similar are suitable for this position.


The work consists of 30 credits (weeks) and is planned to start in the spring semester of 2020.

Contact persons

For more information regarding this position, please contact:


Please send your application to Linus von Fieandt,

The selection is done continuously. Please send your application as soon as possible, 15 December 2019 at the latest.

Read more about Sandvik Coromant at the website