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Novel friction pairs for environmentally-friendly automotive brakes

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Kosarieh
    Dr A Hassanpour
    Prof A Neville
    Prof D C Barton
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Compared to the massive effort aimed at reducing diesel particulate emissions, wear emissions from friction brakes have received far less attention. The alternative electric powertrain vehicles usually employ some form of regenerative braking system but they will continue to require friction brakes for conditions where the regenerative system fails or is less effective such as when the vehicle comes to rest at traffic lights. It is likely therefore that wear emissions from friction brakes, alongside those from tyre/road interactions, will become the major source of atmospheric particulate pollution from road transport in the years ahead.

With the emergence of friction materials development, there is a need to fully understand brake pad/disk interactions between current and future friction materials and new materials technology for applications in automotive, high speed rail, airspace, etc. This proposed research will build on our ongoing research and will aim to provide an in-depth understanding of the interactions between the brake pads and disks leading to particle emission with different natures and characteristics as a result of wear. This would provide a knowledge on the mechanisms of particles generation and their characteristics and could present valuable guidelines to minimize particulate emissions from friction brakes whilst reducing the unsprung mass of the vehicle and hence reducing CO2 emissions.

The project is a collaborative study between the Schools of Mechanical Engineering and Chemical and Process Engineering and our industrial partners. The main outcome of this proposed research will be development of a friction braking system with optimum tribological performance (good friction characteristics with low wear) leading to less particulate emission generation and a cleaner environment.

With increasing demand for e-mobility, ever-increasingly strict particle emission legislations and a need to reduce the hazardous substances form the brake pads; development of novel friction material is becoming more critical than ever. This may alter the generation of third body layer (TBL) on the counterpart (i.e. brake disk) which is crucial for the effectiveness of the tribological system. For more than 20 years, braking research at Leeds has focussed on investigating lightweight alternatives to the standard grey cast iron brake rotor material. Although a number of alternative rotor materials have been considered (notably aluminium MMC’s), the most promising candidate now appears to be an alumina-coated unreinforced aluminium alloy which has been demonstrated to be hard-wearing and thermally resistant. Development of a compatible and hard-wearing iron-free friction material would release far less particles, albeit iron free, into the environment. 

The main objectives of the PhD project are:

To conduct rigorous numerical and experimental studies of brake wear debris generation and air-borne trajectories.
To fully characterise the physical, material and mechanical properties of debris particulate matter generated.
To investigate the formation, composition and structure of the third body layer from friction material and the underlying tribology.
To link the formation, composition and structure of the third body layer to its effects on the brake performance (friction, wear, NVH and particle emissions).

Funding Notes

UK/EU: Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Studentships paying academic fees of £4,600 for Session 2020/21, together with a maintenance grant of £15,285 for Session 2020/21 paid at standard Research Council rates for 3.5 years. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.

Applicants must be available to start 24th September 2018.

How good is research at University of Leeds in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.80

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