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High temperature composite nacelle structure

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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Prof B Falzon No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
Belfast United Kingdom Aerospace Engineering

About the Project

Project Title: High temperature composite nacelle structure

Supervisor: Prof Brian G. Falzon CEng FRAeS, Professor of Composite Materials and Aerostructures, Head of School, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, [Email Address Removed]

Dr Ali Aravand [Email Address Removed]

3-year studentship

Start Date: September 2021

Application Deadline: 31/03/2021

Project Aim:

The emergence of ultra-high bypass powerplants requires the development of large nacelle structures and, consequently, the need to make these structures lighter has never been greater.

Project Description:

There are considerable challenges that must be overcome in the development of an all-composite nacelle. For example, the inner fixed structure, which is usually made from a metallic sandwich structure, with acoustic features to attenuate noise, is subjected to higher temperatures than current epoxy resins can withstand. High temperature epoxies do exist but these need to be characterised and evaluated on both performance and cost. Another challenge is ensuring that in the event of a catastrophic failure, for example, arising from a burst duct, the ensuing damage is contained and does not result in the complete disintegration of the engine with the potential loss of the aircraft.


•   Undertake a performance/cost analysis of high temperature epoxy composites

•   Material characterisation study of potential candidates for the face sheets and core

•   Acquisition of material data required for virtual testing

•   Assessment of bonding composite face sheets (with acoustic perforations) to core and subjected to high temperature operating conditions

•   Acoustic and energy absorption studies using flat sandwich panels

•  Digital twin development for virtual testing of burst duct event.

Funding Information:

UK nationals only - £15,285 stipend tax free. PhD students in the School may have the opportunity to apply to be demonstrators on undergraduate modules. Compensation for this can amount to more than £2,400 per year.

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