Research course

Surface Design Approach against Fretting-Corrosion Degradation of Automotive Electrical Connectors

University of Leeds · School of Mechanical Engineering

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2.1), or equivalent, in physics, materials or mechanical engineering. If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

This project strives to solve an application-driven problem of limited durability of automotive electrical connectors due to fretting-corrosion.

Fretting-corrosion results from vibrations, variable humidity and temperature; it increases electrical contact resistance as corrosion products change the nature of the metallic interface.

Improvement of the connector performance will be achieved by introducing tailored surface texturing and developing a fundamental understanding of the oxidation process at the functionalised interface. A pilot study showed a non-linear correlation between surface roughness and electrical contact durability.

This project has a strong industrial support from Mercedes-Benz, PCT Automotive and DuPont Teijin Films. Cross-faculty collaboration with School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering will be sought.

Keywords: Fretting, , electrical connector, friction, surface engineering, automotive

Fees and funding

This scholarship is part of Leeds Anniversary Research Scholarship scheme.

This scholarship is fully funded covering fees and a maintenance of £14,254 in 2016/17

Qualification and course duration


full time
48 months

Course contact details

Dr Tomasz Liskiewicz