In the UK, glass fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP) contributes to 75,000 tons end of life waste in addition to 6,200 tons of production waste. Because 90% of the UK’s FRP currently goes to landfill, the development of recycling solutions for composites is necessary. This is also due to the recent adoption of strict environmental legislation (such as the EU’s End of Life Vehicles Directive which aims to reduce the automotive waste disposed of in landfill by setting targets for reuse, recycling and recovery of materials). This has also led to increased restrictions and costs of composite landfill disposal (Composite in Manufacturing, CIM December 2019, pp 59). On the other hand, the use of composite materials is considerably rising in many industries including aerospace, automotive, sports and medical equipment. Polymeric composites, such as CFRPs and GFRPs, are typically manufacturing by laying up pre-impregnated sheets and hence machining processes are necessary to achieve the required geometrical & dimensional accuracy and create features such as holes for assembly.
This project aims to critically investigate different methods of recycling/reuse the composite waste (either as production waste or end of life waste) to develop strategies for manufacturing functionalised construction structures entirely/partially made from waste. The project is experimentally based and will include the use of equipment such as 3D printers, CNC machining centre, optical and electron microscopy. The project will also create an advanced computer model using ABAQUS to investigate the structural behaviour of GFRP and CFRP composite structures made from recycled materials. The models will be validated using experimental results and then will be used in a detailed parametric study. Finally, a new set of design equations based experimental and numerical studies will be developed to determine the structural capacities GFRP and CFRP composite structures made of recycling materials.
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Mechanical or Construction Engineering with a good fundamental knowledge of Simulation, Manufacturing and Composite Materials.
English language requirement
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.
· Experience of fundamental of materials and manufacturing
· Competent in CAD
· Knowledge of composites, manufacturing, design
· Good written and oral communication skills
· Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
· Good time management
Simulation software and CNC programming