PhD Studentship - Development of high performance out of autoclave resin systems using novel toughening strategies

Coventry University - Carbon Nexus (Deakin University, Melbourne)

The high strength to weight ratio, corrosion resistance and design flexibility of composite materials make them ideally suited for industrial applications of the 21st century. This increased demand however, has also resulted in a never ending need for improved performance and processability at lower cost. Nowhere is this more evident in the aerospace and automotive industries, which are turning to out of autoclave resin systems to reduce costs through simpler but more reliable and robust processing methods. Out of autoclave resins however, tend to be characterised by poor fracture properties and require modification to achieve satisfactory fracture toughness. Unfortunately, modification tends to reduce processability increasing the risk of poor consolidation and increased void content. This project will develop new polymer matrices for out of autoclave technologies and explore the relationship between void content, consolidation, processability and properties.  

Specific activities will include:

  1. Synthesis and/or development of new polymer matrices with advanced properties for out of autoclave fabrication.
  2. Explore novel toughening approaches for highly crosslinked matrices.
  3. Optimise processability and characterise mechanical and thermal properties of composite.
  4. Use acoustic emission sensors to optimise structure and control variability for toughened and untoughened resin systems.
  5. Using Acoustic Emission sensors to detect different damage mechanisms within out of autoclave resin from introduced damage.

Research Questions

  1. How does the use of highly ductile modifiers impact processability via resin transfer moulding?
  2. Can void content be related to processing resin parameters such as viscosity and rate of cure?
  3. Can we relate these findings to a real life component?
  4. Can above findings be quantified through AE sensing technologies?
  5. How does the mode of damage impact the laminate and its effect upon properties?
  6. Can such damage levels be quantified through AE sensing technologies and used for intelligent prediction of failure?

Start date: May 2017

Duration of study: Full-Time - three years fixed term

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Enquiries may be addressed to: Professor Russell Varley, Deakin University russell.varley@deakin.edu.au

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Advert information

Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Australasia

* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed