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4 year EngD - Non-conventional cutting processes for CFRP materials


Project Description

Start Date: 9 September 2019
Duration: 4 years
Stipend: Tax-free stipend of £18,000 per year, plus all tuition fees paid at UK/EU rates*.


Project Description
The use of non-mechanical material removal technology, particularly abrasive waterjetting, is commonly used in the aerospace industry and has been identified through a recent AMRC study as a potential step change technology to enable high speed cutting of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite parts.

Using high accuracy, tailored robotic kinematics in combination with high-pressure waterjet technology, it is anticipated significant savings in weight and cost to the process are likely achievable. A target for this technology would be to remove the need for conventional finish machining entirely. Less is understood about the effect of such cutting techniques on the quality of the final part.

The scientific challenges to be addressed in this research shall be:
- To generate a simulation of the abrasive waterjet cutting process.
- To validate the model using controlled experimental tests.
- To identify enhanced process settings, utilising design of experiment, response surface methodologies and established optimisation techniques using a combination of modelling and experimental testing.
- To develop a knowledge base for the specific material used in industrial application relating to the impact of resulting cut edge quality on in-service part performance.
- To demonstrate the ability of the waterjet equipment, in combination with optimised parameters to achieve an in-specification generic part.
- To develop a cost model of the process using information gather on cost of process consumables, operating costs, etc.

Funding Notes

Applicants must have, or expect to get, a 1st or good 2:1 degree (or Masters with Merit) in a relevant science or engineering subject such as mechanical engineering, materials science, maths or physics, and be willing to get involved in hands-on activities. You should be enthusiastic about research with an interest in technology development and innovation in manufacturing.

*Due to EPSRC residency requirements, this project is open only to UK / EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years immediately preceding the start of the course.

For further information see the IDC website View Website

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Mechanical engineering and Advanced manufacturing

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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