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A Novel Method to Recycle Composite Machining Swarf (Advert Reference: SF19/EE/MCE/SHYHA)

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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Dr Islam Shyha , Prof K Lafdi Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The use of composite materials, in particular polymeric based, is considerably rising in many industries including aerospace, automotive, sports and medical equipment. This is due to their superior properties especially specific strength which result in weight reduction. Polymeric composites, such as CFRPs and GFRPs, are typically manufacturing by laying up layers of pre-impregnated sheets (known as prepreg) consists of a polymer matrix and reinforcement fibres to produce near-net shape parts. Machining processes are then necessary to achieve the required geometrical and dimensional accuracy and create features such as holes. Every year, the aerospace industry produces tons of composite waste (chips/swarf or dust) as a result of the machining processes. These available methods to dispose these tons of materials are deemed expensive and not environmentally friendly (such as landfilling). Therefore, a new procedure/method to recycle and reuse the composite dust will be developed in this project.

This project aims to develop conductive 3D printing filaments from different types of composite waste including carbon fibre reinforced and carbon-carbon composites. The anticipated products cannot be made using injection moulding in relation to wide range of properties enabling the production of high-quality structures as well as saving cost. The project includes the functionalisation of the recycled additives (e.g. composite machining waste) which has to take place prior dispersion and mixing with the host matrix. The fibre orientation can be also controlled via additional magnetic or electrophoretic fields. The project is experimentally based and will include using equipment such as 3D printers, CNC machining centre, optical and electron microscopy.

This project is supervised by Dr. Islam Shyha.

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/EE/MCE/SHYHA) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2020 or 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project.

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