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Thermo-Mechanical Modelling for Structural Ceramics with Johnson Matthey

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 03, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Fatigue fracture is one of the failure modes in engineering ceramics where crack initiates, propagates, and finally results in failure under cyclic thermal loading. The efficient prediction of fatigue crack growth helps make engineering decisions on product durability. The conventional Paris law or J-integrals are not enough to predict crack growth in complex 3D geometries such as 3D perioidic structures from additive layer manufacturing. As an alternative method, the Phase Field models have been receiving increasing attention. In this approach it is possible to model both plastic and elastic deformations with a time in microcracked ceramics. The model predictions can also be used to track weaker zones in the structure and the severity of the applied loading conditions on the product durability. There is a knowledge gap in extending the Phase Fieldd models for elasto-plastic ceramics and measuring model input parameters such as fracture toughness, separation energy, cohesive strength, fatigue parameters for such complex structures such as honeycombs. In this work,
Phase Field models will be developed to understand the durability of the microcracked systems and novel experimental techniques will be developed for measuring model parameters by utilizing facilities like high temperature bending test, Dynamic Mechanical Analyser, high-temperature impulse excitation, and nanoindentation. The model predictions will be validated on model materials under thermal shock load conditions. Similarly, these models will be used to explain the revesible grain growth and hysteresis in the elastic properties of microcracked ceramics.

Funding Notes

Tax free bursary of £20,700 p.a. plus fees paid


To be eligible for EPSRC funding candidates must have at least a 2(1) in an Engineering or Scientific discipline or a 2(2) plus MSc. Please email your c.v. to [email protected] For more details on the Engineering Doctorate scheme please visit

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Chemical Engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.50

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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