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Vacancy for a PhD position

Robust Advanced Fiber Placement of thermoplastic composites

The laser-assisted fiber placement (AFP) process is a promising manufacturing technology for thermoplastic composites. It comprises the automated deposition of fiber reinforced thermoplastic tapes on tooling to incrementally build up the component. The mechanical properties of the component can be tailored to a high degree by varying the amount and orientation of the laid down tape material. But, setting up and controlling the process can be time consuming and expensive without having the right tools.

TPRC believes that numerical process design tools help to tackle challenges like, for example, the occurrence of gaps and overlaps with the placement of tapes on doubly-curved surfaces, the elimination of voids, also in structures of variable thickness involving ply-drops, and residual stresses causing warpage. Therefore, TPRC is starting a project with the aim to develop a simulation framework that enables the rapid manufacture of large, complex thermoplastic composite structures using fiber placement.

Research Fiber Placement AFP small

For this project, TPRC is looking for an ambitious PhD candidate who can combine numerical skills with sound experimental work. The candidate will perform fundamental research during a period of four years to contribute to the industrialization of the fiber placement process for thermoplastic composites. The following topics should be addressed:

  • Enhancing and implementing an optical solver that computes the laser heat flux distribution on the tape and substrate;
  • Developing and implementing a transient thermal model including phase transitions (crystallization);
  • Developing a de- and reconsolidation model in conjunction with existing intimate contact and healing formulations;
  • Experimental validation of the mentioned individual modelling elements and the simulation framework as a whole with an industrial demonstrator.

Your profile

  • An MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Materials Science or Applied Physics
  • Experience with (thermoplastic) composite materials is valued
  • Affinity with both numerical as well as experimental work
  • Experience with Finite Element modelling
  • The ability to work independently as well as in a team
  • The possession of good communication skills and fluency in both written and spoken English for close interaction with a multinational consortium of industrial partners
  • The ability of writing in scientific journals and giving presentations at scientific conferences

Information and application

We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment with a fully equipped laboratory and support staff. We offer a competitive salary with excellent secondary conditions of employment, a flexible working environment and opportunities for further career development. You are offered a professional and personal development program within Graduate School Twente.
Interested? Then send your application letter and CV including references and, if applicable, a list of publications to careers@tprc.nl until March 31st, 2021.

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