A PhD vacancy is available in the Hoefnagels group (www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/hoefnagels-group/) within the Mechanics of Materials section (www.tue.nl/mechmat) at the department of Mechanical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). The candidate will be co-supervised by Associate Professor Johan Hoefnagels at the TU/e and Assistant Professor Francesco Maresca at the University of Groningen (RUG; www.rug.nl/staff/f.maresca). This PhD project forms the experimental part of the 2-PhD Next-Coat project, in which Materials innovation institute (M2i), Tata Steel Europe, and several academic partners collaborate on the development of an advanced steel coating, e.g., for the automotive industry.
Project: Next-generation coatings for advanced wear-resistant materials (Next-Coat)
This project aims at unravelling the influence of chemistry and microstructure on the key mechanical properties of anticorrosive coatings, such as the strength, the ductility and the wear-resistance. The producers of these materials can tune the chemistry and microstructure, however with limited understanding of what controls these properties. We address this question by an integrated multi-scale experimental-modeling approach (with one experimental and one numerical PhD student), considering (i) the role played by chemistry on the nanoscale mechanisms such as dislocation plasticity and failure, and (ii) the influence of the microstructure, including the grain boundaries, on the plasticity and failure of polycrystalline coatings. The key (atomic-scale) mechanisms (dislocation glide, grain boundary mechanics, and crack propagation) governing plasticity, damage and wear in zinc-containing alloys will be identified, including the effects of chemistry, through:
The key deformation and damage mechanisms will be experimentally studied, identified, and unraveled and subsequently incorporated in a multi-scale crystal plasticity model, which enables predictive failure simulations of ~10 micrometer-thick coatings on steel, which will again be validated experimentally. The resulting fundamental understanding will be cast in a predictive theory of strength and failure of coatings for a wide range of alloy concentrations, to guide the design of next-generation coatings with unprecedented strength, damage and wear resistance.
PhD vacancy with a focus on experimental micro- and nano-mechanics
This PhD vacancy concerns the experimental part of the project to measure, reveal and understand the nano-scale deformation and failure of Zn-based coatings in detail. The main challenge is to perform in-situ nano-mechanical testing of individual coating constituents inside the SEM including SEM-DIC (digital image correlation) to measure the evolution of the strain field at the specimen surface and to critically analyze the full-field results to unravel deformation, damage, and failure mechanisms at the nano scale. To this end, a number of state-of-the-art micro-mechanical characterization techniques will be employed and combined:
Research group Mechanics of Materials and its Multi-Scale lab
The Mechanics of Materials MoM section (www.tue.nl/mechmat) is globally recognized for its research on experimental analysis, theoretical understanding and predictive modelling of a range of phenomena in engineering materials at different length scales, which emerge from the physics and the mechanics of the underlying multi-phase microstructure. A systematic and integrated numerical-experimental approach is generally adopted for this purpose. This focus is closely related to intrinsic material properties (multi-scale plasticity in advanced steels, interfacial properties in laminates, thermo-mechanical fatigue in cylinder heads, etc.), the application of materials in microsystems (i.e. multi-phase functional materials, MEMS, stretchable electronics, etc.) and various systems and processes involving mechanically complex interfaces (e.g. in Systems in Package, flexible displays, electronic textiles).
The MoM section has a unique research infrastructure. Dr. Hoefnagels is the principal supervisor of the Multi-Scale Lab (https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-labs/multiscale-lab/), which is dedicated to ‘integrated mechanical testing’, allowing for quantitative in-situ microscopic measurements during deformation and mechanical characterization within the range of 10-9-10-2 m. To this end, the Multi-Scale lab contains a range of (home-built) micro-mechanical tests & high-end microscopes (including 4´SEM, 3´EBSD, 2´EDX, 3´Profilometry, 4´Opt.Micr., 2´AFM/STM, µ-CT-scanning, 6´DIC, Micro&NanoIndentation, 3 µ-tensile stages, & 6 dedicated µ-testing stages). The Multi-Scale lab will fully available for the Next-Coat project.
Talented, enthusiastic candidates with excellent analytical and communication skills and high grades are encouraged to apply. A MSc degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Physics or a related discipline is required, combined with a strong background in experimental micro-mechanics, microscopic characterization, mechanics of materials, and solid mechanics theory. Experience in wear, coatings, metallurgy, damage mechanics are of benefit.
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Jolanda de Roo, jolanda.deroo@Mindsforinnovation.nl
We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page. The application should include a:
We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.