Current Research Projects

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Current Funded Research Projects

Creative Clusters Fashion in smart textile
Funding source: AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Start: 01-10-2018  /  End: 31-03-2023

Graphene Flagship Core Project 3
Funding source: EU Commission - Horizon 2020
Start: 01-04-2020  /  End: 31-03-2023

Bridgestone Elastomer Research (16)
Funding source: Bridgestone Corporation
Start: 01-10-2019  /  End: 30-09-2020

Previous Funded Research Projects

Bridgestone Rubber Research
Funding source: Bridgestone Corporation
Start: 01-10-2018  /  End: 30-09-2019

This grant supports the work of the soft matter group in investigating the nature of the polymer filler interactions that are present in tyre compounds.

Schlumberger PDRA Project Funding
Funding source: Schlumberger Limited
Start: 24-09-2018  /  End: 23-03-2019

This grant is used to employ a PDRA, Dr Richard Windslow, to apply the knowledge he gained during his PhD program focused on Dynamic Seals and apply this towards a RCD Sealing Element. It will extend the modelling capabilities at Schlumberger and address challenges encountered to date for Sealing Element modelling.

Bridgestone Rubber Research Project
Funding source: Bridgestone Corporation
Start: 01-10-2015  /  End: 30-09-2018

This grant supported the work of the soft matter group in investigating changes to the nature of the polymer filler interactions in rubber compounds under strain.

Effects of Sour Gas Aging on Cross-linked HNBR
Funding source: ARTIS
Start: 01-06-2015  /  End: 31-05-2017

This project funded a PDRA to examine the effects of sour gas ageing on crosslinked HNBR polymer. It focused on the changes to the network structure and their relationship to changes in their physical properties.

Hyundai Rubber Research Project
Funding source: Hyundai Motor Company / Hyundai Motor Company
Start: 01-06-2013  /  End: 31-05-2016

Hyundai enhanced their elastomer modelling capabilities and investigated the mechanisms that result in changes in behaviour with ageing of hydraulic elastomer mounting systems

Characterisation and Properties of Sticky Layer Wear Debris
Funding source: Sumitomo Rubber Industries
Start: 01-05-2015  /  End: 28-02-2016

This project funded a PDRA to examine the transitions from particulate wear behaviour to sticky wear behaviour in a range of novel tyre tread compounds.

Bridgestone Rubber Research Programme
Funding source: Bridgestone Corporation
Start: 01-10-2014  /  End: 30-09-2015

This grant supported the work of the soft matter group in investigating the nature of the polymer filler interactions using dielectric spectroscopy.

Viscoelastic Characterisation of Elastomer Materials
Funding source: Schlumberger Cambridge Research Ltd
Start: 01-12-2014  /  End: 30-04-2015

This project funded a PDRA, Dr Lewis Tunicliffe, to examine the viscoelastic behaviour of HNBR elastomer compounds used in dynamic sealing applications in the oil and gas sector. The aim being to create a dataset of properties to accurately model the materials behaviour for use in finite element modelling.

Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Elastomers and Elastomer-Filler Interactions
Funding source: Hyundai Motor Company
Start: 01-06-2013  /  End: 31-05-2014

This programme aims to use both atomistic and course grained molecular dynamics to model the behaviour of rubber materials under strain. The aim being to use the models to develop better constitutive models to create more robust and realistic continuum mechanics models.

Predicting the Failure of Elastomeric Engine Mounts in Service
Funding source: Hyundai Motor Company
Start: 01-06-2013  /  End: 31-05-2014

A typical automotive engine is supported by three separate mounting systems. This project examined the interaction of various different mechanical, thermal and chemical degradation mechanisms on the behaviour of a hydraulic engine mount.

Current PhD Studentship Projects

Birla Carbon - Elastomer Materials Collaboration
Funding source: Birla Carbon USA Inc.
Start: 01-08-2019  /  End: 31-01-2023

Weir Group Half funded PhD
Funding source: WEIR GROUP PLC , The
Start: 01-05-2019  /  End: 31-10-2022

Constitutive Modeling and Leak Prediction for Elastomeric Seals in Oilfield Packers
Funding source: Schlumberger Technology Corporation
Start: 22-09-2017  /  End: 21-03-2021

Packers are used to isolate production zones in oilfield completions. These elastomeric sealing elements undergo large deformations during setting and must survive down hole at pressures above 70MPa and temperatures above 230°C. This project will reduce design lead-times by developing constitutive models and methods to predict fluid leakage in these seals.

Modelling Friction in Subsea Sealing Applications
Funding source: Schlumberger Limited
Start: 22-09-2017  /  End: 21-03-2021

This PhD project aims to improve the design approaches used in Schlumberger to model the behaviour of elastomers for subsea sealing applications. It will initially focus on modelling friction interactions and then consider the material behaviour.

The ageing and fatigue behaviour of rubber in dynamic elastomeric seals
Funding source: E.P.S.R.C. / Schlumberger Cambridge Research Ltd
Start: 01-10-2015  /  End: 30-09-2020

Previous PhD Studentship Projects

The Development of Dielectric Elastomer Actuator Devices
Funding source: European Commission
Start: 01-01-2015  /  End: 31-12-2018

This PhD studentship was part of the MICACT Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action Innovative Training Networks (ITN). Our contribution was to cerate a range of different Dielectric Elastomer Actuator devices for optical, haptic and bioengineering applications

Viscoelastic Modelling of Rubber Components in Vehicle Suspension Systems
Funding source: Jaguar Land Rover Ltd
Start: 01-09-2014  /  End: 31-12-2018

The project derived constitutive models that were valid over the entire service load and strain rate range for elastomer materials that are commonly used in vehicle suspensions.

The Fatigue Life of Elastomer Components
Funding source: Cameron Flow Control Technology (UK) Ltd
Start: 22-09-2015  /  End: 21-09-2018

This project studied the fracture behviour in complex seals used in the Oil and Gas industry. The approach used finite element techniques to evaluate the tearing energy for specific cracks located anywhere in the component and required detailed characterisation of the material tear and fatigue behaviour.

Fatigue properties of glass and carbon fibre reinforced timing belts
Funding source: NGF Europe Ltd
Start: 01-10-2014  /  End: 30-09-2017

Glass fibres are typically used as a reinforcement in most elastomer timing belts. Unidirectional carbon fibre is an alternative reinforcement material. This project examines the interaction between both types of cord reinforcements and the HNBR as well as the fatigue behavior of the composite structures.

The modelling of Elastomer Friction
Funding source: E.P.S.R.C.
Start: 01-10-2013  /  End: 31-03-2017

Development of dielectric elastomer actuator devices
Funding source: ARTIS
Start: 01-10-2012  /  End: 30-09-2016

This project developed new materials and applications for dielectric polymer composite structures which are “smart” materials. The development of new materials with an increased response to an applied voltage will allow new applications to be developed.

Electrical Breakdown of Dielectric Elastomer Actuator Materials
Funding source: NPL Management Ltd
Start: 01-10-2012  /  End: 30-09-2016

Dielectric elastomers are a class of Electroactive Polymer developed for high strain actuators. To achieve a strain of over 100%, high electric fields approaching the dielectric breakdown strength of the material are applied. Improvements in the performance and reliability of these materials will be made by understanding the mechanisms that lead ...

Abrasion of Elastomer Materials
Funding source: Cabot Corporation
Start: 01-11-2013  /  End: 30-04-2016

For tyres the rate of abrasion is clearly important when determining the product life. Abrasion tests are being done in parallel with a coupled finite element / fracture mechanics approach. For typical SBR tyre tread compounds the principal abrasion rate determining mechanisms for the loss of rubber results from tearing phenomena ...

Dynamic Behaviour of Filled Elastomers
Funding source: Sibelco UK Ltd & EPSRC Case Award
Start: 01-10-2010  /  End: 31-03-2014

This project is examining how the visco-elastic properties of different filled elastomer materials are affected by compounding and test temperature. Building on a relatively simple testing and modelling approach developed by a previous researcher in the group (Suphadon), this programme examines how the visco-elastic behaviour of a filled compound can ...

Fatigue Failure in Aircraft Tyres
Funding source: Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Ltd & EPSRC Case Award
Start: 22-03-2010  /  End: 21-03-2013

This project builds upon the earlier work done in the group (Ratsmiba, Tsunoda, Ng, Liang, Asare) which measures the cyclic fatigue crack growth for specific tearing energies in a variety of elastomer compounds using simple test pieces. Then finite element techniques are applied to calculate the tearing energy relationships for ...

Other Research Projects

Dynamic simulation of flocculation: fractal particles in a polymer matrix

In a variety of applications, micro or nanoparticles are used in a polymer matrix to modify the mechanical property of the particle-polymer mixture. Particles are used for instance in many complex fluids as thickeners to enhance viscosity and texture (e.g. in cosmetics), and to improve the mechanical performance of ...

Friction behaviour of rubber

This project builds upon the earlier work done in the group (Gabriel) to investigate the fundamental frictional properties between rubber materials and rigid surfaces. The project examines how friction behaviour depends upon compounding with nanoparticles, surface roughness, sliding speed, temperature and surface preparation. The project uses a range of finite ...

Modelling of filler reinforcement in elastomers (Cabot & Bridgestone sponsored)
Funding source: Bridgestone / Cabot Corp

Materials such as carbon black, clays and silica significantly improve the mechanical properties measured in terms of strength and fatigue resistance when compounded into elastomers. In addition, these fillers typically impart an increase in the stiffness of the material. This work uses different models over a wide range of length ...

Modelling of Foamed Rubbers (DSTL sponsored)

A hollow filler material can be used to create a closed cell foam structure. The full behaviour of this type of foamed elastomer is not well understood. This project examines these novel materials. The behaviour is observed in transparent elastomer materials using microscopy techniques to observe the process of bending, ...

Modelling the Behaviour of Liquid Crystal Elastomers (SEPNET sponsored)

Models of smectic-C liquid-crystal elastomers predict that they can display soft elasticity, in which the shape of the elastomer changes at no energy cost. This research programme aims to model and understand this phenomenon with a view to developing a good enough understanding so that the behaviour can be exploited in...

Self-regulating Heating Materials

The dramatic increase in electrical resistance with temperature (pyro-resistive or PTC effect), first found in carbon black (CB) based polymer composites three decades ago, is nowadays employed in self regulating heating devices. A PhD project at QMUL, partially funded by LMK Thermosafe, is currently looking into the next generation of ...

Smart Rubber Sensor Devices

This work extends earlier work in the group (Yamaguchi, Jha) into how changes in the DC electrical properties (resistivity) change with strain for elastomers filled with conducting fillers such as carbon black. This programme is concerned with AC type measurements of the dielectric behaviour to see if more robust sensor ...

Stretchable haptic and optical systems based on electroactive polymer artificial muscles

This work will deepen the investigation on the potential of dielectric elastomer actuators for tuneable haptic and optical systems. Special efforts will be focused on the development of tactile displays and optical lenses, as highly innovative devices for biomedical and bioinspired mechatronic systems.