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John Sykes

Professor John Sykes
Professor of Materials

Department of Materials
University of Oxford
16 Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3PH

Tel: +44 1865 273777 (reception)
Fax: +44 1865 273794

Summary of Interests

Corrosion of metals. Conversion treatments, protection by organic coatings, studies of coating breakdown. Passivity, chloride-induced pitting, corrosion of steel in concrete, metal hydrides for energy storage.

Current Research Projects

Oxidation and hydriding mechanisms in Zr nuclear fuel cladding alloys
S. Yardley, Professor. S. Lozano-Perez, Professor Chris Grovenor
The critical mechanisms that lead to breakaway oxidation behaviour and delayed nydride cracking in commercial Zr alloys in reactor environments are poorly understood, and yet they are very important in controlling the safe operating lifetime of reactor fuel rods and so the fuel burnup that can be achieved. This project is using the latest generation of advanced analytical tools to study the structure and chemistry of the oxide and the oxide/metal interface at the atomic scale in order to understand how the oxidation and hydridation process might be controlled by better design of the cladding alloy. Funded by EPSRC grants EP/E036384 and EP/I003274 with support from Rolls Royce, Westinghouse and EDF, and in collaboration with the University of Manchester and the Open University.

1 public active projects

Research Publications

Holloway, M. and Sykes, J.M. (2005). 'Studies of the corrosion of mild steel in alkali-activated slag cement mortars with sodium chloride admixtures by a galvanostatic pulse method' Corrosion Science 47(12) 3097-3110.

Reddy, B. and Sykes, J.M.: 'Degradation of organic coatings in a corrosive environment: a study by scanning Kelvin probe and scanning acoustic microscope' Progress In Organic Coatings 52 (4) (2005) 280-287.

Doherty, M. and Sykes, J.M.: 'Micro-cells beneath organic lacquers: a study using scanning Kelvin probe and scanning acoustic microscopy.' Corrosion Science 46 (5) (2004) 1265-1289.

Reddy, B., Doherty, M. and Sykes, J.M.: 'Breakdown of organic coatings in corrosive environments examined by scanning Kelvin probe and scanning acoustic microscopy.' Electrochimica Acta 49 (17-18) (2004) 2965-2972.

Smit, M.A., Hunter, J.A., Sharman, J.D.B., Scamans, G.M. and Sykes, J.M.: 'Effects of thermal and mechanical treatments on a titanium- based conversion coating for aluminium alloys.' Corrosion Science 46 (7) (2004) 1713-1727.

Sykes, J.M.: 'A variant of the Brasher-Kingsbury equation.' Corrosion Science 46 (3) (2004) 515-517.

Booth S.E., Marsh C.D., Mallik K., Baranauskas V., Sykes J.M. and Wilshaw P.R.: 'Fabrication of nanocrystalline aluminium islands using double- surface anodization' Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B 21, 316-318 (2003).

Reddy B., Doherty M. and Sykes J.M.: 'A study of the breakdown of organic coatings by Scanning Kelvin Probe and Scanning Acoustic Microscopy' 8th International Symposium on Electrochemical methods in Corrosion Research, Nieuport, Belgium, (2003).

Smit M.A., Hunter J.A., Sharman J.D.B., Seamans G.M. and Sykes J.M.: 'Effect of organic additives on the performance of titanium- based conversion coatings' Corrosion Science 45, 1903-1920 (2003).

Danilidis I., Hunter J, Scamans G.M., and Sykes, J.M.: 'Effects of inorganic additions on the performance of manganese-based conversion treatments' Corros Sci, 49, 1559, (2007).

Danilidis I., Davenport A.J. and Sykes J.M.: 'Characterisation by X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy of KMnO4-based no-rinse conversion coatings on Al and Al alloys' Corrosion Science, 49, 1981, (2007).

Whyte E.P. and Sykes J.M.: 'Behaviour of a zinc–iron bimetallic couple coated with poly-vinyl butyral lacquer during intermittent exposure to salt solution', Corrosion Science, 49, 3361, (2007).

Porcu M, Petford-Long A.K. and Sykes J.M.: TEM studies of Nb2O5 catalyst in ball-milled MgH2 for hydrogen storage', Journal of Alloys and Compounds, In Press, Available online 1 February 2007.

Sykes, J.M., Doherty, M., Corrosion Science, 50 (10), 2773 (2008), Interpretation of Scanning Kelvin Probe potential maps for coated steel using semi-quantitative current density maps

Doherty, M., Sykes, J.M., Corrosion Science 50 (10),  2755, (2008) A quantitative study of blister growth on lacquered food cans by scanning acoustic microscopy  

 Danilidis, I., Hunter, J., Scamans, G.M., Sykes, J.M., Corrosion Science 50 (11), 3038 (2008), Effect of silica nano-particles on the performance of manganese-based conversion treatments

Zhao, X., Chu, B.T.T., Ballesteros, B., Wang, W., Johnston, C., Sykes, J.M., Grant, P.S., Nanotechnology 20 (6), art. no. 065605 (2009),Spray deposition of steam treated and functionalized single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotube films for supercapacitors  
 Ares J.R., Aguey-Zinsou K.-F., Porcu M., Sykes J.M., Dornheim M., Klassen T. and Bormann R.: Thermal and mechanically activated decomposition of LiAlH4, Materials Research Bulletin, 43 (5), 1263-1275.

 Ni N., Lozano-Perez S., Jenkins M.L. English C., Smith G.D.W. Sykes J.M. Grovenor C.R.M., Scripta Mat 62(8) 564 (2010), Porosity in oxides on zirconium fuel cladding alloys, and its importance in controlling oxidation rates.