PhD: Computational Modelling of 3D Printed Energetic Materials
Additive manufacturing provides the advantage of freedom of shape, customisation and on-demand production. The additive manufacturing of energetic materials has been explored by TNO for several years with good results. After initial, successful trials with 3D printed propellants, the next step is to gain detailed knowledge and tools in order to optimise the propellant composition for performance and safety. Besides the energetic properties, the mechanical properties have to be optimised as well, because damage, flaws and cracks affect the combustion process and therefore the safety and propellant functionality. The PhD project has been defined to develop computational models to study and predict the response and damage development in heterogeneous propellant materials with a special focus on the dynamic loading conditions during launching of rockets or missiles. This is a challenging project aiming at modelling discrete failure surfaces and fracture planes at the mesoscopic level, dealing with very different stiffness properties of the particles and matrix. The dynamic loading conditions during launching set additional requirements and make the research even more challenging. The aim of the proposed PhD project is to develop a computational platform to model the mechanical response of 3D printed propellant materials under launch conditions. This project is sponsored by the Dutch MOD and will be performed in close collaboration with TNO.
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