Professor Mingxing Zhang

Professor

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
mingxing.zhang@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 68709

Overview

Professor Mingxing Zhang’s research interests are in the additive manufactruring of metals and MAX phase mateirals, high entropy alloys, new alloy design through machine learning and application of crystallography to engineering materials, surface engineering of metals, and grain refinement for cast metals.

Prof Zhang is a world leader in the area of crystallography of phase transformations and its applications in engineering materials, and is recognised as one of the top researchers in the areas of phase transformations, grain refinement for cast metals, additive manufacturing of metals, and surface engineering.

Prof Zhang obtained his Bachelor of Engineering from the Inner Mongolian University of Science and Technology and Master of Engineering from Northwestern Polytechnical University, China. In 1997 he was awarded his PhD degree by The University of Queensland. His research expertise and interests include crystallography of phase transformations, grain refinement and alloy development of aluminum and magnesium alloys, surface modification and coatings, bainitic transformation and bainitic steels.

Prof Zhang’s research hopes are to apply his fundamental research results to develop new generation metallic materials and to improve the current materials processing techniques. His research outcomes will also offer materials scientists a totally new way to undertake surface treatment for metallic materials, therefore to significantly improve the surface durability of this type of materials. For example, the recently developed new packed powder diffusion coating technique for titanium alloys will enable the replacement of the highly costive superalloys with Ti alloys. The research also hopes to enhance Australia’s competitive ability in international markets in light metals and contribute significantly to material science with the study of the mechanism of phase transformations in solids.

Research Interests

  • Crystallography of phase transformations in solids
    Understanding of the crystallography of phase transformation will leads design more effective materials processing techniques and therefore to produce higher quality materials.
  • Additive manufacturing of metals
    Additive manufacturing is one of the most advanced manufacturing technologies with advantages of high design freedom, short lead time and direct manufacturing of parts from digital files. But, not all engineering alloys can be additively manufactured at this stage. Prof Mingxing Zhang's research aims to design and develop new alloys that suit for additive manufacturing and to modify or inoculating the currently commercial available alloys so that they can be additively manufactured.
  • High entropy alloys
    High entropy alloy is a relatively new member in the family of the metallic materials with extraordinary mechanical, physical and chemical properties. But, the currently available high entropy alloys are very expensive due to use of high cost metals such as Co and Ta. Prof Mingxing Zhang's group aims to develop new and cost-effective high entropy alloys with the new design strategy to achieve properties that cannot be achieved in common engineering alloys
  • Design of new alloys through machine learning
    Currently, there are around 65000 commercial alloys used in engineering. But, engineers still face challenge to select right alloys to fulfil a specific application, particularly for the extreme conditions. Hence, researchers and engineers have never been stopping to design new alloys. But, this is not a simple work because there are trillions possibilities in terms of the combination of chemical combinations with processes. Previously used trial-and-error approach will not work. Our research aims to exploit the potencies and design new alloys using the advanced machine learning technique based on the truth of current alloys followed by experimental verifications.
  • MAX phase compound materials
    MAX phase compounds (MPCs) are lightweight materials that have both metallic and ceramic characteristics. In addition to their functional performance as magnetic, optoelectronic, radiation-resistant, and electrocatalytic materials, MPC materials are also associated with high corrosion and oxidization resistance at high temperatures, cracking self-healing performance, good thermal and electrical conductivity and high mechanical properties. Hence, MPCs have also been considered as emerging advanced materials for engineering applications at special and extreme conditions, such as high temperature, high pressure and corrosion and oxidization environments, in aerospace, nuclear, defence, electrical and other industrial sectors. However, it is currently difficult to produce large quantities of MAX materials and parts using conventional manufacturing processes. Our research aims to in-situ fabrication of MPC parts through additive manufacturing approach using proper powder mixture and processing control.
  • Grain refinement of cast metals
    The research focuses on seeking new grain refiners for cast metals based on fundamental research results and to refine the as cast grain size, and to improve the properties of cast metals
  • Surface treatment of metallic materials
    The research aims at developing new surface treatment techniques and/or modify the current techniques in order to effectively imporve the surface properties of metal components.

Qualifications

  • PhD, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Engineering, N'western Poly
  • Bachelor of Engineering, Taotou UIST.

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • The PhD project on additive manufacturing (AM) it to develop practical and effective technologies to improve the AM processability of engineering materials that are currently hard to or even cannot be processed/fabricated via AM. Such materials include ceramics, most superalloys and copper alloys, the majority of tool and high ultrahigh strength steels, high strength aluminium alloys, and some titanium alloys. The development is based on the current understanding of factors that govern the quality of AM components and of the causes for low AM processability of these types of alloys. The most promising approach to improve the processability is grain refinement that can be achieved through inoculation treatment of the feedstocks and through processing control.

  • MAX phase compounds (MPCs) are lightweight materials that have both metallic and ceramic characteristics. In addition to their functional performance as magnetic, optoelectronic, radiation-resistant, and electrocatalyticmaterials, MPC materials also have high corrosion and oxidization resistance at high temperatures, crack self-healing performance, good thermal and electrical conductivity and high mechanical properties. Hence, MPCs are considered as emerging advanced materials for engineering applications at special and extreme conditions, such as high temperature, high pressure and corrosive and oxidising environments, in aerospace, defence, electrical and other industrial sectors. However, the currently available MPC materials face a few challenges that limit their commercialisation and industrial applications. This includes the difficulty to produce high purity MPC powders in large quantities at affordable costs, and the difficulty to fabricate bulk parts with shape complexity. This PhD project aims to develop novel in-situ synthesis techniques with laser additive manufacturing to produce high performance MPCs, and to increase the 3D printability of MPCs through combined approaches of processing control, feedstock powder granulation, and grain refinement.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

  • Nahed El Mahallawy and Mingxing Zhang eds. (2008). Progress in surface treatment. Key Engineering Materials, Zurich, Switzerland: Trans Tech Publications. doi: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/KEM.384

Book Chapter

  • Yin, Yu, Atrens, Andrej, Huang, Han and Zhang, Ming-Xing (2022). Cost-effective Fe-rich high-entropy alloys: A brief review. High Entropy Alloys - Recent Advances, New Perspectives and Applications [Working Title]. (pp. 1-21) edited by Yong A. Zhang. London, United Kingdom: IntechOpen. doi: 10.5772/intechopen.105081

  • Luzin, Vladimir, Spencer, Kevin, Zhang, Mingxing, Matthews, Neil, Davis, Joel and Saleh, Michael (2017). Residual stresses in cold spray coatings. Cold-Spray Coatings: Recent Trends and Future perspectives. (pp. 451-480) Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-67183-3_16

  • Wang, Q. and Zhang, M. (2015). Cold-spray coatings on magnesium and its alloys. Surface modification of magnesium and its alloys for biomedical applications. (pp. 379-405) edited by T. S. N. Sankara Narayanan, Il-Song Park and Min-Ho Lee. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-1-78242-078-1.00014-1

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • The PhD project on additive manufacturing (AM) it to develop practical and effective technologies to improve the AM processability of engineering materials that are currently hard to or even cannot be processed/fabricated via AM. Such materials include ceramics, most superalloys and copper alloys, the majority of tool and high ultrahigh strength steels, high strength aluminium alloys, and some titanium alloys. The development is based on the current understanding of factors that govern the quality of AM components and of the causes for low AM processability of these types of alloys. The most promising approach to improve the processability is grain refinement that can be achieved through inoculation treatment of the feedstocks and through processing control.

  • MAX phase compounds (MPCs) are lightweight materials that have both metallic and ceramic characteristics. In addition to their functional performance as magnetic, optoelectronic, radiation-resistant, and electrocatalyticmaterials, MPC materials also have high corrosion and oxidization resistance at high temperatures, crack self-healing performance, good thermal and electrical conductivity and high mechanical properties. Hence, MPCs are considered as emerging advanced materials for engineering applications at special and extreme conditions, such as high temperature, high pressure and corrosive and oxidising environments, in aerospace, defence, electrical and other industrial sectors. However, the currently available MPC materials face a few challenges that limit their commercialisation and industrial applications. This includes the difficulty to produce high purity MPC powders in large quantities at affordable costs, and the difficulty to fabricate bulk parts with shape complexity. This PhD project aims to develop novel in-situ synthesis techniques with laser additive manufacturing to produce high performance MPCs, and to increase the 3D printability of MPCs through combined approaches of processing control, feedstock powder granulation, and grain refinement.