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2 PhD positions Predicting failure in thermoplastic compositesPosted by: University of Twente (UT)
Posted date: 2017-Sep-22
The automotive industry is in urgent need of further lightweighting its car fleet to meet the governmental regulations on carbon emissions. Thermoplastic Composites (TPCs) yield a possible solution, due to the combination of lightweight, flexibility of design, reduced processing cycle times and recyclability. Despite this high potential, the introduction of fiber reinforced polymer composites in mass-produced components proceeds rather slowly. An important factor is that TPC components, based on continuous fibre-reinforcement, are generally aimed at load-bearing applications, where structural integrity and long-term reliability are of utmost importance. Hence, the ability to predict the mechanical performance (impact, fatigue) under anticipated service conditions is essential in the design and optimization of such components. Unfortunately, the predictive methods currently available prove inadequate, and, hence, the reliability of these materials can generally only be warranted after full-scale testing of actual products. This procedure is costly, time-consuming, and hampers product optimization and a flexible response to market demands.Objective
The objective of this research is to develop a new predictive modelling framework that allows the simulation of the mechanical performance of thermoplastic composites, in short-term (impact) as well as in long-term loading (creep, fatigue), taking into account the influence of structural evolution processes that take place during processing, storage and service life. Such tools will enable optimization in various stages of design, leading to lighter, more reliable products with short time-to-market and an enhanced service life.
The approach will be in two combined closely related experimental/numerical PhD projects; PhD1 dealing with the relation between the thermomechanical history (during processing, storage and service – e.g. crystallization, ageing) and the long-term composite (mechanical) response, and PhD2 focusing on the prediction of damage evolution and failure modes occurring during an impact event, its relation to processing and prior fatigue damage evolution. Both projects will focus on isotactic polypropylene (iPP) reinforced with glass fibers, a material with great promise for load-bearing applications in the automotive sector.
Information and application
Please send your application, with a detailed CV and a specific motivation letter, through the link below before October 15th, 2017.
Conditions of employment
We offer a very challenging fulltime position for four years in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.
The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.