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Silk fibre composites: impact behaviour and effect of interface properties

KU Leuven University

1 or 2 semesters

Project description

Silk fibre composites have been a new topic of research in the Composite Materials Group over the last year. It appears that these materials, when employing thermoplastic matrices, are extraordinarily tough with high strain to failure and impact energy absorption. On the other hand, we have established that the adhesion between silk fibres and various thermoplastic matrices is rather poor. Exploring these issues is the aim of the work. How can the properties of an extremely tough fibre like silk best be transferred into a tough composite? What is the effect of matrix properties like modulus and strain to failure and what is the effect of interface strength? This work is conducted in cooperation with a designer from Antwerp and a silk fibre company.

The project is available in the Fall and Spring semester.

Duration of the research project: 6-12 months. 

Number of places available: 1 per semester.

Pre requisites

  • Creative and analytical mind with sound engineering skills.

Faculty Department

Metallurgy & Materials Engineering.

The MTM Dept. is a regular research partner of industry in the fields of metallurgy and materials engineering. The combination of thorough fundamental research coupled with our broad range of expertise, delivers innovative ideas, helping to gain major advantages. Modern, advanced and well-maintained equipment reduces project time and cost and increases accuracy and strongly motivates researchers. A dynamic team spirit and cross-discipline knowledge sharing, stimulate our international outstanding research teams in their constant search for improved methods and innovative technologies.Project management is an art at MTM. Great management is also an essential ingredient in creating solid service for industry. Senior staff closely monitor the work of junior researchers to ensure a high level of professionalism and to teach the skills of sound project management: result-driven and cost-conscious. MTM is the largest education centre in Belgium in Materials Engineering, for BSc,MSc, & PhD.   

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