INTERNSHIP Engineer - Physics / Material Science - Aluminium Modelling



France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Voreppe

Remote Position: 


November 29th, 2022




Internship offer (all genders) – 6 months

Engineer or Master - Physics or Material Science

Period 6 months - Starting from January 2023


Subject title: Modelling of Aluminium grain refinement by cellular automaton


Constellium is a world leader in the development and manufacture of high value-added aluminum products and solutions for a wide range of markets and applications, focusing in particular on aerospace, automotive and packaging. Constellium also has nearly 12,000 employees worldwide. We are committed to minimizing the environmental impact of our operations and improving the life cycle footprint of aluminum throughout the value chain.

In our company, safety is essential, it is one of our core values without compromise. Our Research and Technology Center, C-TEC Constellium Technology Center, based in Grenoble (Voreppe – 38) employs about 240 people. 

By joining our company, you will discover a multicultural company (over 20 nationalities) which is committed to diversity and the well-being of its employees.


Main objective and key accountabilities 

Test, validate and optimize a recently developed cellular automaton model to predict the grain refining efficiency of different type of grain refiners and describe new generation grain refiners.


Context & environment

Aluminium alloys have always been essential, among other fields, to the aeronautic industry due to their low density and high mechanical properties and nowadays their use is experiencing significant growth in the automotive sector for the purpose of light weighting vehicles. Without a reliable control over the solidification microstructure of aluminium alloys, their castability and the achievement of the highly desired mechanical properties of aluminium products cannot be guaranteed. In direct chill (DC) casting of aluminium alloys it is essential that the nucleation and growth of equiaxed grains be reliable. Small equiaxed grains reduce the risk of hot tears and shrinkage porosities in cast products by facilitating the liquid feeding between the solidifying α-Al grains. 
Although grain refinement in aluminium alloys is well known from the fundamental and experimental point of view, grain size control is still not always guaranteed at the industrial scale. This depends largely on the nature and fabrication quality of the grain refiner rod. There are sometimes debates in the industrial community about what makes a grain refiner less or more efficient. 
In this work we aim at developing a cellular automaton model that can establish a link between the grain refiner nucleant particle size distribution and grain refining efficiency and fading in aluminium alloys.


The candidate will be based at Constellium C-TEC, Voreppe and will perform cellular automaton simulation of aluminum alloy solidification experiments. The candidate may be involved in SEM characterization of grain refiner aluminium rods in order to quantify the size distribution of nucleant particles. 


Expected results:

The candidate will simulate solidification experiments by means of latest state-of-the-art cellular automaton method. He will gather the experimental parameters required to simulate the experiments and optimize the cellular automaton model to describe the physics involved in the grain nucleation and growth during solidification under different casting conditions. The candidate mission will be to find a link between the casting parameters (cooling rate, temperature gradient, grain refiner type/nature …) and the microstructure formation in order to predict the final microstructure morphology obtained at the end of solidification. 

This internship decomposes into several stages:

  • Familiarization with the principle of solidification of metallic alloys
  • Familiarization with the cellular automaton model
  • Take into consideration the globular to dendritic transition during the growth of aluminium grains
  • Study the effect of grain refiner type/nature on the final grain size
  • Study the effect of nucleant particle size distribution on the final solidified microstructure
  • Use numerical modelling to propose improved specifications on grain refiners for aluminium alloys




Education level: Bac+5 / M.Sc. 
Mechanical Engineering - Physics or Material Science


Competencies & technical & soft skills requirement:

  • Engineering student (last year) or Masters (M2) of Physics or Material Science
  • Candidate motivated, creative, rigorous, curious, good communication skills and autonomous. 
  • Knowledge in Material science, and eager to develop modelling skills
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Good communication skills in English and French are essential