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Reliability Analysis of Adhesively Bonded Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites


   College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The Brunel Composites Centre (BCC) conducts research in phenomena that take place at the interface of composites with other types of materials. Current research projects cover composites processing, composites joints, and composites performance assessment through modelling and testing.

The objective of this PhD research study is to develop a framework that can assess the reliability of adhesively bonded joints in terms of mechanical performance.

Please note that this position is intended for self-funded PhD students. 

The increasing use of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials in a wide range of applications increases the use of similar and dissimilar joints. Due to the architecture of FRPs, the use of traditional mechanical fastening joining methods is damaging, restrictive and cost-intensive. In contrast, adhesive bonding technology is one of the most widely used joining methods for composites because it allows flexibility in selecting materials, improved production efficiency, and cost reduction. Yet, because of the complex nature of their failure and the fact that not all defects can be fully verified by inspection and testing, these joints are conservatively designed, limiting the potential of composite materials in weight reduction, cost-saving, and performance.

While many studies have investigated the effect of defects on the failure of adhesive bonds and others aimed at developing non-destructive testing technologies to inspect these joints, there is a need to identify the statistical uncertainties of these defects and understand their correlation and effect when designing and analysing joining systems. Therefore, this study aims to establish a probabilistic reliability-based analysis of adhesively bonded FRPs.

The study will address the following objectives:

  • Categorise the defects in adhesively bonded joints based on their location: interface, adhesive, and adherends.
  • Define the statistical properties of these defects using Uncertainty quantification methods.
  • Quantify the presence of defects. There is a need to investigate the influence level and degree of correlation between these different defects and uncertainties using numerical and analytical methods.
  • Improve the computational efficiency of the developed stochastic strategy (for example, using a suitable surrogate model).
  • Demonstrate the effectiveness of the developed framework in an application case using reliability-based analysis.
  • Investigate the possibility of conducting a reliability-based design optimisation for an application case.

For any enquires, feel free to contact Dr Sadik Omairey ().

Research journey

Doctoral research programmes (PhDs) take a proud place in the world-class research environment and community at Brunel. PhD students are recognised and valued by their supervisors as an essential part of their departments and a key component of the university's overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.

A PhD programme is expected to take 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time, with intakes starting in January, April or October.

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (1st or 2:1) or an international equivalent. A Masters degree is a welcome, but not required, qualification for entry.

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Brunel

Research support

Excellent research support and training

The Graduate School provides a range of personal, professional and career development opportunities. This includes workshops, online training, coaching and events, to enable you to enhance your professional profile, refine your skills, and plan your next career steps as part of the Researcher Development Programme. The researcher development programme (RDP) offers workshops and seminars in a range of areas including progression, research management, research dissemination, and careers and personal development. You will also be offered a number of online, self-study courses on BBL, including Research Integrity, Research Skills Toolkit, Research Methods in Literature Review and Principles of Research Methods.

Library services

Brunel's Library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 ebooks, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs. As well as the physical resources available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students. 

Dedicated research support staff provide guidance and training on open access, research data management, copyright and other research integrity issues.

Find out more: Brunel Library

Careers support

You will receive tailored careers support during your PhD and for up to three years after you complete your research at Brunel. We encourage you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't yet have a career path in mind. Our careers provision includes online information and advice, one-to-one consultations and a range of events and workshops. The Professional Development Centre runs a varied programme of careers events throughout the academic year. These include industry insight sessions, recruitment fairs, employer pop-ups and skills workshops.


Funding Notes

Please note that this position is intended for self-funded PhD students. However, Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: View Website. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

References

The range of uncertainties and defects that this study intends to investigate are available here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42452-021-04753-8

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