A PhD position is available within the framework of the DPI (Dutch Polymer Institute) project ANGLE (Engineering the rheology and processing-induced structural anisotropy of polymer composites with non-Brownian fibrous particles). The PhD project will be a combined experimental-numerical study.
Reinforcing polymers with glass fibers is essential to reach strength and stiffness while maintaining light-weight. However, the improvement in ultimate properties is highly dependent on the microstructure of the fiber reinforcements and its anisotropy. This microstructure is developed during processing in the molten state and is governed by the interplay between flow and geometrical parameters, polymer rheology and particle characteristics. Despite the long-standing research interest in fiber-filled polymers, many open questions remain. The overall aim of this project is to develop a roadmap for controlling the microstructure and its orientation in composites consisting of viscoelastic polymers with anisotropic non-Brownian particles by engineering the formulation and processing conditions. An experimental-numerical approach will be used that takes advantage of various in-house developed experimental setups and numerical codes. For instance, we have recently developed a filament stretching rheometer wherein two pistons pull in opposite directions thereby allowing for the generation of a stagnation point extensional flow. This new type of rheometer allows to perform in-situ structure characterizations, e.g. crystallization studies via SAXS and WAXD. In the present project, the rheometer will be extended with light scattering possibilities to follow in-situ anisotropy development during processing. For the numerical modelling, an in-house developed finite element code will be used and adapted.
Research Group Polymer Technology
The PhD position is in the Polymer Technology group in the Mechanical Engineering department at Eindhoven University of Technology. The project will be supervised by Prof. Anderson, Dr. Ir. Cardinaels (experimental work) and Dr. Ir. Jaensson (numerical modelling).
During the project, there will be collaboration with several industrial partners from the DPI Consortium. Polymers are vital for energy, environment, and health. They are mainly characterized by their low density, ease of processing and shaping, possibilities of functional integration, and an almost unlimited flexibility in molecular design. Moreover they are in most cases relatively cheap. These characteristics determine not only the societal needs for improved polymer systems in a multitude of application areas like protection, isolation, transportation, communication, illumination, packaging, shielding, housing, furniture, clothing etc., but also set the resulting scientific challenges. In the Polymer Technology group, our research is aimed at bridging the gap between science and technology in the area of polymer processing and design, through the use of experimental and computational tools in the modeling of the full thermo-mechanical history of material (elements) during their formation, processing and final design, to quantitatively predict properties of processed objects. The research is aimed at bridging the gap between science and technology in the area of polymer processing and design, through the use of experimental and computational tools in the modeling of the full thermo-mechanical history of material (elements) during their formation, processing and final design, to quantitatively predict properties of processed objects. Extensive state-of-the-art experimental facilities for the characterization of mechanical properties in the liquid (rheology) as well as solid (polymer testing) state, combined with microstructure characterization are available. Many of these devices are developed or modified in-house and are therefore unique.
An overview of the research performed in the Polymer Technology group can be found at:
We are looking for recently graduated, talented and enthusiastic candidates with excellent analytical skills, high grades and creative problem-solving skills. A MSc degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Physics or a related discipline is required, with experimental experience in materials characterization. Prior experience in experimental rheology, light scattering experiments, equipment construction or numerical simulations of viscoelastic fluid flows is a strong plus. Good English communication skills are required, both written and oral.
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Ruth Cardinaels (R.M.Cardinaels@tue.nl).
We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'solliciteer nu'-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. Only complete applications will be considered. Screening will continue until the position has been filled. Starting date of the position is as soon as possible and before the end of 2020.