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Polymers in Extreme Environments: Exploring the ballistic impact behaviour of polymers and ultimately polymer composites

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  • Full or part time
    Prof D G Bucknall
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Polymers are used in a vast and hugely diverse range of applications. The mechanical behaviour of polymers in many instances is well understood and can be very well explained using continuum mechanics. This is particularly true when the basis for the models used rely on and can be compared directly to a wealth of experimental measurements. However, in many instances polymers experience service conditions such as very high strain rate mechanical deformation where limited experimental data exists and theoretical understanding is almost non-existent. Under these mechanical extremes, experimental observations can deviate dramatically from anticipated behaviour. This project will explore the ballistic impact behaviour of polymers and ultimately polymer composites. The objectives are twofold, firstly to understand the underlying molecular behaviour of such materials, and ultimately to exploit this to enable self-healing structures, targeted molecular release and sensor platforms that are able to operate in these mechanical extreme environments.



The Institute of Chemical Sciences (ICS) is an excellent environment for PhD research, with a thriving community of academics, post-doctoral and PhD researchers. ICS has many links to the other research institutes within the overall umbrella of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, providing a strong interdisciplinary theme to our research. Heriot-Watt occupies an attractive campus site on the outskirts of Edinburgh, with excellent public transport links to the centre of one of the Europe’s most exciting cities.

Funding Notes

This is an internally funded studentship: 3 years, tuition and stipend (EPSRC standard rate, approx. £14,000 p.a.), for UK and EU citizens.

You should have, or expect to receive, a First class or 2:1 MChem degree in Chemistry, or equivalent in a relevant related subject.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Heriot-Watt University in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 30.00

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

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