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Multiscale Multiphysics Process Modelling for the Manufacture of Aerospace Composites

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  • Full or part time
    Dr T Dodwell
    Prof Richard Butler
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Overview: This exciting PhD research project will develop state of the art Multiscale Multiphysics methods to model the consolidation and curing processes during the manufacture of large-scale composite aerospace structures.

The PhD student will collaborate closely with:
- Composite Research Unit
- Numerical Analysis Group
- GKN Aerospace.

Background: Whilst the basic advantages of composite materials are well proven, they are often compromised by high costs, long development time, and poor quality due to manufacturing defects. This is particularly the case for the complex structures found in aerospace applications. Laminates are made by layering a series of thin carbon fibre plies on to a tool; pressure and heat are then applied to ensure the laminate conforms to the tool surface, resin is evenly dispersed throughout and the part cures. This manufacturing method involves many different physical processes on all scales. Making large-scale components adds even more complexity, and parts are particularly vulnerable to developing a variety of defects, for example wrinkling. Depending on the defects’ severity, the structural integrity of the part might be compromised, leading to expensive wholesale rejection. The Composite Research Unit has developed a higher-order multiscale continuum model for an elastic layered material, which includes the interlayer mechanics without explicitly defining the layer geometry. This method has shown the potential to capture small-scale defects at a fraction of the computational expense when compared to conventional finite element methods. For real impact in the aerospace sector this method must be extended to include more realistic micro-mechanical-multiphysics behaviour that incorporates resin flow, temperature distribution and cure kinetics

Key Objectives: (1) Develop a detailed understanding of the micromechanics of uncured carbon fibre composites, through fine scale computations and experiments. (2) Extend existing multiscale capabilities to capture complex microscale processes (3) Implement macro-scale process simulations to real aerospace structures.


Essential: Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least an upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent qualifications, in a relevant engineering or applied mathematics discipline.
Desirable: Interest/Experience in:
- Mathematical Modelling (Elasticity / Flow)
- Numerical Methods for PDEs (e.g. Finite Element Method)
- Composite Materials / Structures in particularly with respect to Aerospace Applications.
All applications should be submitted on-line http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/apply

Funding Notes

This PhD is supported by a Graduate School Scholarship, which provides outstanding students with a tuition fee discount of up to 100% for Home/EU fee payers and up to 75% for Overseas tuition fee, (Overseas applicants will have to pay the remainder of the tuition fee) and a training support grant.

Applications for this position will be considered as they are received.
Possible start dates are October 2014 and January, April 2015. Applications should be made at least 3 months (Home/EU) or 5 months (Overseas) before the intended start date.

References

We require one academic reference. You will be asked to supply details when you make an online application.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

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

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