PhD TOPICS WITH VACANCIES

Long-term behaviour of FRP strengthened reinforced concrete beams under sustained loading.

Although a number of studies have been carried out on the long-term performance of FRP strengthened reinforced concrete (RC) members, there is still a lack of general conclusions about the influence of the many factors that can affect their behaviour.

This thesis will consist of a combination of experimental and numerical work. Both parts will combine bond and flexural behaviour. Experimental data will be used to calibrate numerical models, which in turn will be applied for analysing in a more global scheme the influence of the main parameters on a flexural structural element. The goal will be to help in designing design criteria for FRP strengthened reinforced concrete (RC) members.

Funding project: Spanish funded public project
Contact person: Dr. Lluís Torres

On the generation of design allowables for thermoplastic materials

The generation of design allowables involve costly and time consuming experimental test campaigns. In this thesis, a methodology to obtain the design allowables for different design drivers will be defined. The methodology will be based on the quantification of the uncertainty associated to the different properties and the use of advanced analytical and/or numerical models to propagate those uncertainties to obtain the design allowables.

Funding project: Collaboration with an aeronautical company

Contact person: Drs. Albert Turon, Dani Trias.

Simulation of impact events on composite materials with thermoplastic resins.

Compression after impact strength is one of the design drivers for many structural components. However, the analysis methods currently available to simulate low-velocity impact (LVI) and compression after impact (CAI) strength are not efficient. Moreover, they have not been developed for thermoplastic materials. This thesis will develop a methodology to simulate LVI and CAI on a composite layup with a thermoplastic matrix. The predictions of the simulations are going to be compared with an experimental test campaign to demonstrate the suitability of the methodology to analyse the damage tolerance of composite structures.

Funding project: Collaboration with an aeronautical company

Contact person: Dr. Emilio González.

Constitutive modelling of thermoplastic materials

The transport industry, mainly the automotive and aeronautic industry, has a lot of interest on thermoplastic composite materials. However, the analysis models available for thermoplastic composite materials are less developed than for thermoset composite materials.  AMADE’s group has a large track on the constitutive modelling on composite materials. In this thesis, the models already developed for thermoset composite materials are going to be extended/reformulated for thermoplastic resins.

Funding project: Collaboration with an aeronautical company

Contact person: Dr. Pere Maimí.

Optimisation of non-conventional 3D-printed composite laminates

The work will focus on additive manufacturing of composite laminates, characterisation of mechanical properties, design and numerical modelling of laminates with dispersed orientations and laminates with steered fibre paths, optimisation in terms of mechanical response and final experimental validation.

The work is to be carried out in the frame of a national project with public funding (not awarded yet) in cooperation with two national research centres.

Contact person: Dr. Norbert Blanco.

Durability of bonded joints between composite adherends

Development of an experimental new test methodology for the analysis of the durability in bonded joints between composites subjected to a mode I peel loading. Experimental campaign to analyse the durability of different types of bonded joints for the aeronautical industry under different environmental conditions (temperature and humidity). Comparison between the results obtained with the new methodology and the existing tests. Implementation of those effects on a cohesive formulation, and performance of virtual test simulations on bonded joint specimens. The activity will be carried out within the framework of the National Research Project REDBONE and in collaboration with a research centre and a company of the aeronautical sector.

Funding project: REDBONE National Research Project

Contact person/s: Drs. Jordi Renart and Albert Turon

Improving the translaminar toughness of composites through novel hybridization concepts

Laminated composites have a high specific stiffness and strength but their fracture is quasi-brittle. It is this lack of ductility that prevents the optimal use of the material when the structure has geometric discontinuities (holes, notches…). The aim of this project is to explore the improvement of fracture toughness that different concepts of hybridization at different scales (ply, intra-ply or intra-tow) can bring about to structural composites. To achieve this goal the candidate must develop tools to design and test the hybrid composites.

Funding: Spanish public funded

Contact persons: Drs. Pere Maimí, Josep Costa.

Study on the effect veils at the interfaces to improve the interlaminar fracture toughness of composites

Structural laminated composites made of carbon or glass fibres among other technical fibres, have their weak point at the interfaces. Under out-of-axis loads, these materials tend to delaminate, impairing their capability to withstand loads. Among other efforts to improve their interlaminar fracture toughness the use of veils is a promising option because they do not introduce detrimental effects on the mechanical properties. However, there are several questions to be investigated to introduce them in mass production. Identifying the most efficient grade, diameter of fibres, processing temperature, etc.

This project is funded by a provider of carbon fibre reinforcements.

Contact person: Dr. Josep Costa.