Stephen Corbin

Stephen Corbin

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dalhousie University

Chair title

NSERC/Pratt and Whitney Canada Industrial Research Chair in Structural Brazing and Processing of Powder Metallurgy Superalloys

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2012


Governments worldwide are developing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to mitigate global warming. Major contributors to GHG emissions include energy consumption in the manufacture of industrial components and fuel consumption in the transportation sector. This Chair program will address GHG emissions in the aerospace industry through the development of near net shape (NNS) manufacturing techniques applied to nickel-based superalloy engine components. Through the Chair Program, Stephen Corbin and his collaborators at Pratt and Whitney Canada (P&WC) will develop and improve methods used to produce complex shaped engine components. These components will be created by brazing together several simpler parts, made through powder injected molding (PIM) and sintering, thus producing a more complex shape. Compared to traditional non net shape cast or wrought routes, this approach to manufacturing will reduce the need for costly material removal steps (i.e., machining), resulting in lower energy usage and reduced material waste. This approach will also lead to new designs which are not possible with conventional manufacturing routes.

A primary activity of the program will involve the combined use of thermal analysis tools capable of measuring weight, enthalpy, dimensional and thermal diffusivity changes in superalloy materials under conditions which simulate industrial scale brazing and sintering. These measurements, in combination with microstructural and mechanical property evaluation, will result in optimized NNS processes applicable to the aerospace industry, with potential extension to other materials intensive manufacturing sectors.

The optimized brazing and sintering techniques will be used in P&WC operations to reduce engine production costs, while developing more sustainable manufacturing practices, resulting in a reduction in GHG emissions. In addition to having a positive impact on the environment, the work undertaken under this Chair will enhance P&WC competitiveness in the global aerospace industry, and promote Canadian economic growth and job creation.

A major focus of Dr. Corbin's research activities has been the development of high-temperature thermal analysis techniques to study materials processing. Throughout his career Dr. Corbin has used these techniques to understand complex metallurgical reactions taking place during the sintering of powder metallurgy (PM) mixtures and soldering and brazing. The insight gained from this work has lead to the development of new joining and sintering processes and the optimization of industrial manufacturing methods. His recent focus has been on the development of sustainable manufacturing practices which take advantage of the NNS attributes of both PM and brazing.


  • Pratt & Whitney Canada

Contact information

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dalhousie University
P.O Box 1500
1360 Barrington St. Bldg D, Room 215
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 4R2

Tel.: 902-494-2929


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