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(Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses)
WIRE is an open access repository for the research publications and other outputs from postgraduate students and staff at the University of Wolverhampton.
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Melt pool monitoring and x-ray computed tomography-informed characterisation of laser powder bed additively manufactured silver–diamond compositesIn this study, silver (Ag) and silver–diamond (Ag-D) composites with varying diamond (D) content are fabricated using laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) additive manufacturing (AM). The L-PBF process parameters and inert gas flow rate are optimised to control the build environment and the laser energy density at the powder bed to enable the manufacture of Ag-D composites with 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.3% D content. The Ag and D powder morphology are characterised using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Ag, Ag-D0.1%, Ag-D0.2% and Ag-D0.3% tensile samples are manufactured to assess the resultant density and tensile strength. In-process EOSTATE melt pool monitoring technology is utilised as a comparative tool to assess the density variations. This technique uses in-process melt pool detection to identify variations in the melt pool characteristics and potential defects and/or density deviations. The resultant morphology and associated defect distribution for each of the samples are characterised and reported using X-ray computed tomography (xCT) and 3D visualisation techniques. Young’s modulus, the failure strain and the ultimate tensile strength of the L-PBF Ag and Ag-D are reported. The melt pool monitoring results revealed in-process variations in the build direction, which was confirmed through xCT 3D visualisations. Additionally, the xCT analysis displayed density variations for all the Ag-D composites manufactured. The tensile results revealed that increasing the diamond content reduced Young’s modulus and the ultimate tensile strength.
Influence of gradation in the reinforcement particles on the interfacial microstructure and mechanical properties of functionally graded compositesIn this research, Al6061 alloy-based Functionally Graded Composites (FGCs) were fabricated by hot pressing which is composed of 7 layers with different proportions of Al2O3 reinforcement particles. The addition of Al2O3 particles is gradually increasing in the other layers from top to bottom (Layer 1 - Pure Al6061 alloy, Layer 2–5 wt% Al2O3, Layer 3–10 wt% Al2O3, Layer 4–20 wt% Al2O3, Layer 5–30 wt% Al2O3, Layer 6–40 wt% Al2O3, Layer 7–50 wt% Al2O3). Moreover, three different Al2O3 particle sizes (8, 16 and 32 µm) were used to fabricate three sets of FGCs. Reciprocating wear studies were performed and the result shows that the FGC with 8 µm Al2O3 particle size shows 85.5% improved wear resistance. Further, various wear mechanisms were investigated and finally compressive strength analysis proved that the homogenous distribution of Al2O3 particles in the FGC with 16 µm Al2O3 particle size helps achieve the maximum compression stress of 476.04 MPa compared with other FGCs.
Recalling trauma: the legacy of slavery and colonialism in contemporary black women’s fictionThis thesis examines key literary representations of black women’s historical trauma linked to colonialism and slavery. Through comparative readings of contemporary fiction by black women writers from two continents, I explore the intimate links between the historical traumas of colonialism and slavery and the identity of black women in novels by Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Edwidge Danticat, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Scholastique Mukasonga published between 2004 and 2014. The authors I consider represent literary historians engaging with traumatic pasts in order to rewrite and (re)present black women in a global present. From a postcolonial feminist and cultural trauma viewpoint, I reflect on the manifestations of slavery and colonial trauma on black women characters and explore the ways in which they navigate the historical limitations of collective trauma in their respective locales. My readings interrogate and demonstrate the possibility of a postcolonial feminist and decolonised trauma model that is specific to black women’s writing through a global, transcultural, and transnational outlook. This is a model which centres the experiences of black women from around the world as it is depicted in literature by black women. In addition to this, I examine the solidarities envisioned by the authors under investigation in this thesis in terms of a progressive decolonised trauma studies which encourages healing beyond borders for female descendants of former slaves and formerly colonised peoples. By uncovering the links between the remembering of traumatic events and the processes of healing as groups –– as opposed to the individualised Euro-American models articulated by pioneer theorists ––I situate my interrogation of a specific postcolonial feminist trauma theory as being crucial to my reading of my primary texts and argue that through this, we can uncover ways in which the fiction discussed here articulates and offers routes to communal healing from (initially through voicing) the previously unsaid traumas that are specific to the experience of black women in postcolonial settings. As its contribution to knowledge, this thesis introduces and utilises a decolonised trauma model which situates the black female historical perspective into specific focus and includes as well as studies postcolonial women’s fiction as part of a historical corpus. The thesis also demonstrates a closure of the gap between cultural texts written by American black women and other black women from around the world. Through a comparative analytical methodology and a theoretical framework which combines theories of cultural trauma, black and postcolonial feminisms, it locates black women’s trauma as a significant specific area in the fields of feminism, postcolonial trauma studies, comparative literature, world literatures in English, women’s studies, and studies in fiction.
Necrolabour: A postqualitative contextualisation of contemporary work in respect to the philosophy of Georges BatailleThis thesis represents a reading, existential at its base, of the protean space of contemporary labour, under the lens of French philosopher Georges Bataille (1897–1962). A historical overview of the understanding of labour reveals the contemporary moment as positioned on the threshold of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Anthropocene. A moment, which in the context of this thesis, is best described in eschatological terms and is defined by the notion of permeability. The fading boundaries between labour, life, employment or unemployment, the distinction between product and producer, the empirical real and the virtual, all these ideas seem to merge into what can be described as the overloading of the Cartesian body/mind divide, introducing a host of unexplored ontologies and subjectivities. The thesis traces the movement towards a paradoxical post-work society, where nothing is classed as pure work and yet everything is a form of labour. This is labour that is immaterial, affective, and most importantly, post-human. The contemporary labourer—an embodied osmosis between the human and the machine—navigates through a ‘life-productive’, subordinated to the wage relations, opaquely managed by the spectral machine that is the algorithm. The work of Bataille, strongly engaged with historical concepts of work, sovereignty and existentialism, offers a rich commentary whose absence has been detrimental in regard to labour theory. An oversight whose importance becomes evident when juxtaposing the modern consideration of the human, the citizen, and the worker as interchangeable, with Bataille’s designation of work as the origin of the human animal. This thesis picks up the thread that the late Mark Fisher first unravelled regarding the omnipresence of capitalism and the lack of any alternative suggestion. The concept of necrolabour results from an interdisciplinary approach that goes beyond relating Bataille to a particular philosophical tradition, in favour of an applied reading of Bataille’s thought. Utilising a Postqualitative methodology, this thesis argues for an Acéphalic (in reference to the secret society of Acéphale Bataille founded), approach to labour and extends Achille Mbembe’s concept of Necropolitics from the purely political to the sphere of work. Acéphalic thought offers a radical yet pragmatic way to confront contemporary existence. Proposing a ‘within and against’ mode, our working lives—and by extension, the existential framing of ourselves—are to be encountered.