Funding providers: UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (UKAWE) and Swansea University's Faculty of Science and Engineering
Subject areas: Computational mechanics; Engineering simulation
Project start date:
- 1 April 2023 (Enrolment open from mid–March)
Aligned programme of study: PhD in Civil Engineering
Mode of study: Full-time
There is a wealth of Industrial applications which require the use of computer models to understand the nature and behaviour of shock waves in solids caused by intense short-duration disturbances, such as sudden contact-impact loading and/or when a material is exposed to fast temperature changes. For instance, the mechanisms of material failure under a ballistic-shock are crucial in the design of 3D printed elastomer multi-materials, which are of interest to UKAWE.
Current shock-physics simulation codes, which largely rely on industry-optimised Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)-based methods, are capable of handling shocks across the entire domain of CFD applications. However, the success of this methodological approach has not been replicated in other fields of science, such as large strain solid dynamics, and its coupling with other physics and with novel materials.
Building upon very recent work made by the supervisory team, this project will investigate a new computational framework using a novel Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian (ALE) formalism written in the form of a system of first-order conservation laws. The resulting conservation-type ALE formulation, which displays striking similarities to that used by the CFD community, has inspired the investigators to adopt conventional CFD algorithms in the novel context of Computational Solid Dynamics. One key contribution of this work is that the physical deformation gradient can be obtained via its multiplicative decomposition into two auxiliary deformation gradient tensors, both computed via additional first-order conservation laws. Crucially, the new ALE conservative formulation will be shown to degenerate into Lagrangian and Eulerian mixed based systems of conservation laws. A Finite Volume/Discontinuous Galerkin/Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics algorithm with Riemann based upwinding stabilisation will be used for the spatial discretisation, exploiting in-house software.
The recruited PhD candidate will become a member of an active research group working on the development and application of cutting edge computational techniques for large strain solid dynamics, dynamic fracture/contact and computational multi-physics.
Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline.
English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with at least 5.5 in each individual component) or Swansea recognised equivalent.
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open only to applicants holding a UK passport.