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Experimental and Computational Studies of Nitrocellulose, Nitroglycerin formulations


School of Chemistry

About the Project

Double base propellants are complex formulations of nitrocellulose (NC), nitroglycerin (NG) and other stabilisation and performance-enhancing additives. To date, there is little fundamental understanding of the structure of these complex matrices from an atomistic perspective, and thus the basic concepts of structure/property relationships are lacking. This proposal aims to address this knowledge gap through a combination of classical molecular dynamics simulations and advanced structural characterisation techniques.
Computational modelling will be undertaken to simulate NC entrained with NG and in the presence of known additives and solvents. A correlation between these models and predicted impact sensitivity modification will also be explored. A comprehensive experimental structural characterisation of double base propellant samples, utilising MALDI-mass spectrometry imaging, inelastic neutron scattering (INS) spectroscopy, X-ray and neutron diffraction studies, will also be undertaken, with further potential to explore small angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS and SANS).
This proposal will therefore enhance our understanding of structural models for double base propellant formulations using state-of-the-art computational modelling and experimental techniques, and provide benchmark data for materials properties in relation to key performance criteria for different NC/NG compositions.

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully funded for 3.5 years, covering tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,285 for a candidate satisfying EPSRC’s criteria (View Website).

References

The successful candidates will possess, or expect to obtain, a first class or upper-second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in chemistry or a closely related discipline. Essential qualities include a strong background in computational chemistry and characterisation techniques (such as mass spectrometry and diffraction techniques). Other essential attributes are good presentation and communication skills (written and oral), and an ability to meet deadlines. In the first instance, informal enquiries (accompanied by a CV) should be directed to: Prof. Carole Morrison ([email protected]) and Prof. Colin R. Pulham ([email protected]), School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, David Brewster Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FJ, UK.
Formal applications to Edinburgh are made through the University’s EUCLID system. http://www.chem.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate-research/applications-and-entry-requirements
The position will remain open until filled and is available to start any time.
Equality and Diversity
The School of Chemistry holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter and is a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment. See our University Initiatives website for further information. University Initiatives website: https://www.ed.ac.uk/equality-diversity/help-advice/family-friendly

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