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Rheology of PolyArylEtherKetones (PAEKs) in Additive Manufacturing. PhD in Engineering.


   College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

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  Prof O Ghita, Dr Nan Yi  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) at the University of Exeter in partnership with Victrex is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence as soon as possible but negotiable.

The student will be based in the Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) (https://emps.exeter.ac.uk/engineering/research/etg/centres/calm/) in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter but will involve visits, meetings and time spent at Victrex, as required by the project.

Victrex is an innovative world-leading UK-based manufacturer of high-performance polyaryletherketone (PAEK) based polymeric materials, forms and components. Our central business activity is the creation of sustainable innovation in advanced integrated materials systems and the adoption of these solutions across a range of markets. Key to the accelerated adoption of these technologies is driving an understanding of the science behind these materials systems and transferring that understanding, and the skills developed therefrom, into industrial supply chains. Victrex is heavily involved in the delivery of PAEK products (from medical devices to pipes and gears manufacturing), with 2021 revenues of £308m, 800 employees and 11 subsidiaries serving more than 40 countries.

Project Description:

The studentship is part of the large industrial partnership between CALM and Victrex focused on delivery of the next generation of Poly Aryl Ether Ketone (PAEK) grades for Additive Manufacturing. Therefore, it will take advantage of the project developments so far in terms of knowledge in crystallisation kinetics and models for AM. It will also have access to the state-of-the-art equipment for testing, manufacturing and analysis.

Polymer melt rheology plays an important role during any manufacturing process and the final properties of a part. Previous research highlighted some of the polymer rheology characteristics required for additive manufacturing processes, however the literature is limited in scope and polymers. This project is looking to understand the viscoelastic behaviour of existing and new developmental PAEK grades in relation with two additive manufacturing processes: powder bed and filament extrusion. The study will try to simulate the melt behaviour experienced by each AM process, correlate results with the crystallisation kinetics data developed so far and examine the influence melt rheology has on the layer to layer adhesion mechanisms with the final aim of providing a comprehensive understanding of the polymer behaviour as a function of the process conditions.

https://emps.exeter.ac.uk/engineering/research/etg/centres/calm/

For eligible students, the studentship will cover UK tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £ £15,691 for 3.5 years full-time study. Non-UK students who pay international tuition fees should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend. They are eligible to apply if able to provide the rest of the international tuition fee and the stipend.

Entry Requirements:

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology.  

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.0 IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project. 

Alternative tests may be acceptable (see http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/). 

How to apply:

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.

  • CV
  • Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
  • Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying) •
  • Two references from referees familiar with your academic work. If your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to [Email Address Removed] quoting the studentship reference number.
  • If you are a non-UK applicant you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English

The closing date for applications is 13th May 2022.

Interviews to take place in the week commencing 30th May 2022.

For further information and to submit an application form please visit - https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/funding/award/?id=4412


Funding Notes

This award provides annual funding to cover UK tuition fees and a tax-free stipend of £15,609 per year. Non-UK students who pay international tuition fees should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend. They are eligible to apply if able to provide the rest of the international tuition fee and the stipend. The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence as soon as possible but negotiable.
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