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Funded PhD Opportunity

Optimisation of composite properties in the third dimension-Composite reinforced composites.

Subject: Engineering


Summary

The aim of this work is to improve composite performance and enhance the through-thickness stiffness and strain to failure by addition of nano-enhanced thermoplastic composite stitching, thereby tailoring the out-of-plane properties to the loading condition.  This work will build on collaboration with Institut für Flugzeugbau (IFB), Universität Stuttgart, an Aerospace OEM, Axis Composites, Patras University, Ulster University and Delhi Institute of Technology.                                                                                          On application of out-of-Plane Stresses in laminated composites the through-the-thickness or z-axis direction strength is notoriously weak, thus out-of-plane stresses are often the cause of premature failure. The induced out-of-plane stresses arise due to component geometries or the presence of damage. Delaminations are matrix cracks that lie in the plane of the laminate between plies. Structural instability under compressive loading is of greatest concern in the presence of delaminations. Various methods have been developed to improve the out-of-plane performance including z-pinning or resin toughening; one method that is becoming increasingly successful is to reinforce composites with a fibre that connects the layers together running from the upper to lower surface of the laminate.

This project will build on previous EPSRC funded research and international collaboration to develop the optimum stitch yarn properties using empirical and analytical methods, and then use polymer processing and textile technology to produce the optimised composite. The outcome of this project will provide a greater fundamental understanding of the manufacture and performance of thermoplastic stitched multi-axis, multi-layer reinforcements for advanced composite structures and place NI/UK in a much better position in this rapidly growing area. In particular the aerospace industry will be able to produce more efficient composite structures at a reduced cost. The academic community will also benefit since a new range of technical textiles will be available for analysis and further validation.


Essential criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 19 February 2018

Interview Date
Mid March 2018


Applying

Apply Online  


Contact supervisor

Dr Edward Archer


Other supervisors

Related Funded Opportunities

Engineering

Subject: Engineering

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