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PhD in Engineering: Investigation of Thermoplastic Composite Forming Processes for Automotive and Industrial Structures Production

Project Description

The School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 4-year PhD project entitled ‘Investigation of Thermoplastic Composite Forming Processes for Automotive and Industrial Structures Production’ within the Systems, Power and Energy Division.

The challenge of this project is to perfect the forming process of pre-consolidated advanced thermoplastic composite sheets (e.g. organo-sheets, such as carbon fibre reinforced nylon) into complex shapes using sheet-forming processes. At present, forming of textiles and fabrics (at room temperature) is relatively well understood with much work performed in recent decades enabling associated technologies such as resin transfer moulding of carbon / epoxy thermosetting composites. However, higher-temperature thermoplastics, with the added complication of their rate and temperature dependence during forming, and their variable degree of crystallinity resulting from flow and cooling conditions, require a different processing approach that requires a more fundamental understanding. Until greater knowledge is attained, sheet forming of thermoplastic organo-sheets will remain at a relatively low state of technology readiness. The project will apply proven experimental and numerical forming techniques to thermoplastic organo-sheet technology in a relatively short period (the methodology and framework for this type of investigation is already well established) so that advanced commercial trials can proceed as quickly as possible. The study will help better understand the crystallisation process and its relationship with processing conditions. The project’s industrial sponsor, Johns Manville, is a global supplier of glass fibre reinforcements who have specifically identified the capability of manufacturing with thermoplastic organo-sheet materials as a key objective of their future business, in order to exploit the imminent change in the composite supply chain, from thermosetting towards thermoplastic advanced composite materials.

Application for this scholarship is made by using the ’Visit Website’ link below. Please note that this application is to gain admission to our PGR programme, and an offer of admission may be issued before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates applying for this Scholarship will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made.

Funding Notes

The studentship is supported by the School, and it will cover home tuition fees (£4,327 for session 2019/20) and provide a stipend at the UKRI rate for 4 years (est. £14,999 for session 2019/20).

International students will need to provide their own funding to cover the remaining international fee once the home amount has been awarded.

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