Dr David Weston

Lecturer in Materials Engineering

Dr David Weston

Mechanics of Materials Research Group

Bsc, PhD
T: +44 (0)116 252 2524
F: +44 (0)116 252 2525
E: dpw14@le.ac.uk

Location: Room 215, Michael Atiyah Building


Dave Weston was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire.  He received a BSc in Chemistry followed by a PhD in catalysis on the surface of Group 1 metals from the University of Nottingham.  A brief stint at Sellafield with BNFL was followed by a period of self-employment before joining the Department of Materials at the University of Nottingham as a post doctoral research fellow.

Figure 1

His research interests are concerned with the electrodeposition of hard, as deposited, Co-W coatings which display excellent wear and corrosion resistance.  Electrodeposited Co-W coatings can be produced with very high hardness (>1000 Hv) and exceptional wear resistance in dry sliding wear against a martensitic stainless steel.  The wear rate of the couple has been shown to be 1 to 3 orders of magnitude lower compared to hard chrome electrodeposit under similar conditions.  The coefficient of friction is also significantly reduced.  This coating does not require heat treatment and is a direct electrodeposited replacement for hard chrome.  It is possessed of a laminar nanostructure - Figure 1 shows transmission electron micrograph of CoW laminar nanostructure in cross section. The scale bar is 5 nm..


Figure 2
He is also interested in codeposition of particles with electrodeposits and has developed a pulse current technique which allows control over particle capture by an electrodeposited matrix. The technique appears to be generic, allowing codeposition of any ano-particle into any electrodeposited matrix. Figure 2 shows Scanning Electron Micrograph of Co-nSiC composite with ~8 vol.% nSiC produced by Pulse Reverse Plating.

Light alloy nanocomposite casting alloys are of great interest.  Aluminium casting has grown significantly in the last 20 years largely driven by the automobile industry where light weighting affords efficiency savings.  Recent studies on creating A356-nSiC composites have seen a 100% increase in 0.2% proof stress.


Dr Weston is PI on an Innovate UK funded project worth £0.5m which has successfully developed the PRP technique for Ni plating baths.  This work has highlighted the need to design bath chemistry in order to accommodate the PRP process.  This opens up the technique to opportunity across different metallic matrices and has the potential to deliver a generic technique for electrodeposited metal matrix nanocomposites. The figure below shows a series of NiSiC nanocomposite coatings in cross section with variable, and controllable, SiC nanoparticle content.


Dr Weston appeared on The One Show on 31st October 2019 demonstrating the violence of a mechanical explosion in an article about the oxygen tank explosion on the Apollo 13 mission.  This demonstration has developed into an interesting outreach activity which will be taken out on the road in a post-COVID world.

Dr Weston occasionally gets modelling jobs where middle aged academics in tweed are required.

Research Study at Leicester

Applications for PhD and MPhil are always welcome in the areas of electrodeposition of composite coatings, alloy coatings and physical properties and behaviour of these materials in a variety of applications.

Recent Publications

  • Carpenter CR, Shipway PH, Zhu Y, Weston DP. Effective dispersal of CNTs in the fabrication of electrodeposited nanocomposites. Surface and Coatings Technology 2011;205:4832.
  • Weston DP, Gill SPA, Fay M, Harris SJ, Yap GN, Zhang D, Dinsdale K. Nano-structure of Co–W alloy electrodeposited from gluconate bath. Surface and Coatings Technology 2013;236:75.
  • Watkinson EJ, Ambrosi RM, Kramer DP, Williams HR, Reece MJ, Chen K, Sarsfield MJ, Barklay CD, Fenwick H, Weston DP, Stephenson K. Sintering trials of analogues of americium oxides for radioisotope power systems. Journal of Nuclear Materials 2017;491:18.
  • Watkinson EJ, Ambrosi RM, Williams HR, Sarsfield MJ, Stephenson K, Weston DP, Marsh N, Haidon C. Cerium neodymium oxide solid solution synthesis as a potential analogue for substoichiometric AmO2 for radioisotope power systems. Journal of Nuclear Materials 2017;486:308.
  • DP Weston, YQ Zhu, D Zhang, C Miller, DG Kingerley, C Carpenter, SJ Harris "Co-electrodeposition of inorganic fullerene (IF-WS2) nano-particles with cobalt from a gluconate bath with anionic and cationic surfactants" Electrochimica Acta 56 (19), 6837-684DP Weston, SPA Gill, M Fay, SJ Harris, GN Yap, D Zhang, K Dinsdale "Nano-structure of Co–W alloy electrodeposited from gluconate bath" Surface and Coatings Technology 236, 75-83
  • DP Weston, PH Shipway, SJ Harris, MK Cheng, "Friction and sliding wear behaviour of electrodeposited cobalt and cobalt–tungsten alloy coatings for replacement of electrodeposited chromium" Wear 267 (5), 934-943
  • Weston, DP; Shipway, PH; Harris, SJ, et al. ‘Establishing Relationships between Bath Chemistry’, Electrodeposition and Microstructure of Co-W alloy coatings produced from a Gluconate Bath.Electrochimica Acta, 55, 20, 5695-5708
  • Weston D P, Harris S J, Shipway P H, Yellup J, Patent Number: WO2009130450-A1
  • Shipway, PH; Weston, DP, ‘Thermal effects in blasting and erosion of polymeric materials’ Journal of Materials Process Technology, 209, 20, 6161-6167
  • Weston D.P., Shipway P.H., Harris S.J., Capel H., ‘Corrosion behaviour of electrodeposited amorphous and nanocrystalline Co-W coatings’ Eurocorr 2008, Edinburgh
  • Harris S.J., Yan H., Yu J., Weston D.P., ‘Using a tri-valent chromium addition to increase the corrosion resistance of Zn-Co alloy electrodeposited coatings’ Eurocorr 2008, Edinburgh
  • Weston D.P., Shipway P.H., Harris S.J.,  ‘Development of nanostructured coatings for advanced engineering applications’ 5th International Nanotechnology Symposium, Date: NOV 21-22, 2006 Karlsruhe GERMANY
  • Weston, DP, Harris, SJ, Shipway, PH.  ‘Coating removal from an industrial polypropylene blend by cryogenic blasting: the development of substrate damage”,  Wear.  258 (1-4): 2005 392-401

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