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Postdoctoral vacancy (3 years) on modelling interfacial debonding of short fibre-reinforced composites

This vacancy is part of a new European project RELICARIO on recycling of end-of-life carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). The consortium consists of 4 industrial partners, one SME, one research institute and Ghent University (our group UGent-MMS). 
The RELICARIO project aims to develop to the demonstration scale a new technology to recycle CFRPs using thermosolvolysis. The patented process uses low pressure and low temperature, offering easier industrialization and lower process cost compared with available processes to recycle CFRPs. In this project, the technical feasibility of this technology will be proven through performance modelling, product analysis and preserial fabrication of automotive pieces made with recycled fibres, thus focusing on the substitution of metals currently used in the automotive industry by recycled carbon fibres.

The recycled CFRPs will be short-fibre thermoplastic composites, that can be applied in many automotive applications. Some of these applications are "under the hood" applications, components close to the engine, exhaust or other high-temperature regions. Their mechanical stability and thermomechanical performance are crucial properties to predict. Our research group will focus on the experimental thermomechanical characterization (1 PhD) and modelling of the thermomechanical performance (1 postdoctoral research fellow).

The postdoctoral research fellow will concentrate on the prediction of the nonlinear mechanical properties (visco-plasticity/creep) of short fibre-reinforced composites at ambient and high temperature. UGent-MMS has already developed the complete software chain of injection moulding simulation (Moldex), local property prediction (Digimat) and thermomechanical analysis (Abaqus), and advanced coupled temperature-visco-elastic-visco-plastic material models have been implemented.

The postdoctoral research fellow will develop new Mean Field Homogenization methods or variational methods to account for interfacial debonding of the interface between the short carbon fibres and thermoplastic matrix. Experimental data will be generated by the PhD researcher and unit cell FE models for debonding of short fibres are already available.

Only candidates with a PhD degree should apply. The candidate should have a relevant background in computational mechanics of materials, preferably combined with experience in Mean Field Homogenization methods or variational methods. 

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