The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has the following vacancy
PhD student "Micromechanics of fiber-reinforced semi-crystalline thermoplastics"
in the section Mechanics of Materials, Department of Mechanical Engineering
The PhD student position is available in the section Mechanics of Materials, and will be supervised by dr. Hans van Dommelen and prof. Leon Govaert.
The research activities of the section Mechanics of Materials concentrate on the fundamental understanding of various macroscopic problems in materials processing, forming and application, which emerge from the physics and the mechanics of the underlying material microstructure. The main challenge is the accurate prediction of mechanical properties of materials with complex microstructures, with a direct focus on industrial needs. The thorough understanding and modelling of ‘unit’ processes that can be identified in the complex evolving microstructure is thereby a key issue. The section has a unique research infrastructure, both from an experimental and computational perspective.
Fiber-reinforced semi-crystalline thermoplastics
Thermoplastic composites offer the potential for lightweight solutions, can be produced rapidly and also can be recycled effectively. Prediction of the performance of thermoplastic composite parts requires a three‐dimensional anisotropic mechanical model that captures the response of the continuous (unidirectional) or discontinuous (short/long) fibre‐reinforced plies. This demands an essentially multiscale approach, which starts from the influence of processing on microscale variation in the crystalline morphology of the matrix and local fibre (volume) distribution, accounts for variation in fibre orientations, either by design (laminate) or related to processing (local structural rearrangements). Challenges are to establish a direct link between the crystalline morphology and the 3D constitutive response of the matrix and to translate the local process‐induced structure to the mesoscopic, anisotropic mechanical response. To enable simulation of macroscopic assembled systems, a macroscopic constitutive relation needs to be developed that captures this anisotropic, time‐dependent response.
Aim of the PhD project
The aim of this project is to provide a methodology that directly links microstructural information (matrix morphology and fibre distribution), to macroscopic laminate performance. A three‐dimensional anisotropic mechanical model will be developed that captures the anisotropy, nonlinearity, and time-dependence of the mechanical response of short/long/ and continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastics. The modular EGP model will be employed to create a constitutive model that accurately captures the observed deformation kinetics of the matrices chosen. Samples with different microstructures will be evaluated to establish how microstructural parameters relate to the parameters in the obtained constitutive model. In a micromechanical approach, the developed matrix model will subsequently be employed to complete the structure‐property translation to the macroscopic ply level; this step is required to enable simulations on the product scale. The developed models will be validated in a full‐scale demonstrator problem involving an overmoulded product.
Qualification of applicant
Talented, enthusiastic candidates with excellent analytical and communication skills holding a university degree (MSc, with high grades) in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science or Applied Mathematics are encouraged to apply. A strong interest in mechanics of materials is required. Experience in multi-scale modelling and micromechanics, and experimental mechanics is of benefit.
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
dr. Hans van Dommelen, j.a.w.v.dommelen[at]tue.nl.
For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HRAdvicesME[at]tue.nl
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