Vitrimers are a groundbreaking development in polymer chemistry. This new class of polymers is neither thermoset, nor thermoplastic, but inherits properties from both polymer classes. Vitrimers were "invented" by Prof. Leibler in Paris in 2011 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitrimers). Many applications can be imagined, but the application of vitrimers as the polymer matrix in fibre-reinforced composites, is particularly attractive, because the recycling of fibre-reinforced composites could be drastically improved.
UGent-MMS is partner in the approved Marie-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) "VITRIMAT - Training in VITRImers: high performance MAterials and Trainees for cutting-edge industrial applications". In this project, vitrimers will be applied to manufacture and characterize vitrimer composites. UGent-MMS has a PhD vacancy for 3 years on this large research project with a strong industrial consortium. The purpose is to manufacture and characterize the thermomechanical behaviour of vitrimer composites, by combining a diverse set of experimental testing methods. Those tests should be combined with dedicated instrumentation methods to provide valuable insights into the processing characteristics and thermomechanical behaviour of thermoplastic composites.
Only candidates with a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Civil Engineering, (Applied) Physics or similar should apply. You are interested to perform experimental research and to interact and collaborate with industry.