Saturday, April 12, 2008

PhD Studentship in Netherlands

PhD Studentship-Tribology of Fiber Reinforced Elastomers and Thermoplastics -Sustainable Elastomers & Thermoplastics by Short-Cut Fiber Reinforcement
PhD Studentship

Tribology of Fiber Reinforced Elastomers and Thermoplastics

- Sustainable Elastomers & Thermoplastics by Short-Cut Fiber Reinforcement

The University of Twente is an entrepreneurial research university. It was
founded in 1961 and offers education and research in areas ranging from
public policy studies and applied physics to biomedical technology. The
University has approximately 2700 employees and 8000 MSc and BSc students
and is the Netherlands’ only campus university.

The chair of Surface Technology and Tribology within the department of
Engineering Technology has a job opening for a PhD-student on the project
“Sustainable Elastomers and Thermoplastics by Short-Cut Fiber

Relatively new short-cut aramid-fiber/elastomer composites show considerably
improved tribological properties, in particular cut, ship and chunk
resistance in truck tire treads. In addition, the hysteretic properties of
aramid-fiber reinforced rubber are greatly reduced, which can immediately be
translated in lower rolling resistance of tires and energy or fuel savings
of cars equipped with short-cut fiber reinforced tires. Short-cut fiber
reinforced tires are therefore very interesting as valuable contributions to
a sustainable world.

Important prerequisites for the improvement in properties of the polymers
with the aramid fibers are a strong adhesion between fiber and polymeric
substrate, respectively a favorable fiber orientation must be established
during processing, in order to prevent anisotropy in friction and wear
properties. Unfortunately, there are no general controls and experiences
available how short-cut fiber reinforced polymers of all sorts need to be
designed with respect to their tribological properties for specific

Aim of the project is to develop scientific understanding and generic models
for further development of improved short-cut fiber reinforced polymers,
thermoplastic and elastomeric. Reliable tribology test methods, against
different materials (e.g. metals and asphalt) will be used in combination
with state-of-the-art analytical characterization techniques like SEM, TEM
and surface analysis. Experimental investigations will be carried out in
parallel with the development of models to describe tribological properties,
such as friction and wear, on a micro scale, again in relation to the
fiber-matrix adhesion and mean fiber orientation.

This PhD opportunity will suit a person with a degree in physical sciences
(physics, engineering, materials science, etc.).

You will be based at the Laboratory for Surface Technology and Tribology of
the University of Twente and be joining an innovative and diverse group
working on Tribology, Surface Technology and Materials. For more information
on the research group visit

More information on this PhD studentship can be obtained from
Prof. D.J. Schipper:

Please send your application, with Curriculum Vitae, by email to