Composite materials are well known for their excellent mechanical properties such as high stiffness and strength in combination with their low specific weight. In addition, the material can be designed and tailored for specific demands by varying fibre orientation, stacking sequence and (3D) fibre architecture. Despite its success, less is known about the long-time behaviour of these materials under extreme environmental conditions such as sea water, which hampers the application of these materials in the off-shore industry, for example.
Recently, the group has started a research program to investigate the long term mechanical behaviour of this material. The objective of this specific PhD position is to develop a new predictive modelling framework that allows the simulation of the mechanical performance of thermoplastic composites, in short-term as well as in long-term loading (creep, fatigue), taking into account the influence of harsh environmental conditions (salt water, low temperature, high pressure).
The model will be based on experimental data that is obtained within the project and builds on numerical tools previously developed in our groups. More specifically, you will further develop these models to include thermal and hygric effects for unfilled resin and unidirectional composites. Later in the project, the models are extended to predict the mechanical behaviour of woven and braided composites that have been exposed to the relevant environmental conditions. The final goal of this project is the development of a multi-physics micro-mechanical model that captures the observed response and can be used in a design process.
Qualification of applicant
We are looking for talented, enthusiastic candidates with excellent analytical and communication skills holding a MSc in Engineering Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials or Polymer Science at a Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering department. A strong interest in mechanics of materials is required. Experience in multi-scale modelling and computational mechanics are of benefit.
The activities of the Mechanics of Materials and Polymer Technology research groups concentrate on the fundamental understanding of various macroscopic problems in relation to the microstructure of the material and the processing and use of polymer components. The groups have a unique research infrastructure, both from an experimental and computational perspective. The Mechanical Testing Lab offers a large capacity of testing equipment for short-term (impact) and long-term testing (static and cyclic fatigue). The Multiscale Lab facilitates research on evolution of the microstructure of the material by means of a variety of microscopes (SEM and CT) that allow for in-situ testing. The groups have a strong reputation in developing tailor-made advanced numerical tools that can be run on their own large computer clusters.
More information about Eindhoven University of Technology and Mechanical Engineering Department, can be found on https://www.tue.nl/en Information of the two involved research groups can be found here: http://www.tue.nl/mechmat and http://www.tue.nl/pt.
Candidates can get more information about this position from Prof. dr.ir. Marc Geers, e-mail: M.G.D.Geerstue.nl, Dr.ir. Joris Remmers (J.J.C.Remmerstue.nl) or Prof. dr.ir. Leon Govaert (L.E.Govaerttue.nl). For more information regarding recruitment please contact: hrservices.Gemini@tue.nl