Integral process modeling and validation for composite hydrogen storage vessels

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
September 21, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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Integral process modeling and validation for composite hydrogen storage


(ref. BAP-2023-560)

Last modification : Monday, August 21, 2023

The PhD research and supervision will take place both at KU Leuven (Belgium) and IMT Nord Europe (France) The Composite Materials Group of the Department of Materials Engineering, KU Leuven is a large research group of 60 researchers, focusing on 5 research lines: Process and application development, Micro- and mesostructural design for composites, Physical chemistry of interfaces, Composites and principles inspired by nature, Bio- based and sustainable composites. The research group is active on 3 campuses, and has access to well-equipped laboratory facilities, with experienced staff support. The CMG has a large experience in modeling the relationship between the microstructural features of the composite and its mechanical performance (static stiffness and strength and fatigue) and on composites manufacturing, including permeability modeling for thermoset composites, and process modeling of thermoplastic composites manufacturing. IMT Nord Europe is one of the top- class French engineering schools (Grandes Ecoles) which has three research centers, i.e. Energy & Environment, Digital Systems, Materials & Processes. The Centre for Materials & Processes where about 100 research staffs (including 35 faculty members) are performing scientific researches, cover different research fields about non-metallic materials (polymers, composites, cement and concrete, minerals, sediment) and their manufacturing processes, such as the development of advanced materials and processing technologies, circular economy and eco-materials, digital engineering (https: // imt-nord- ).

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Hydrogen based energy is an importantpillar to meet future energy demands in a renewable and sustainable manner. TheEU-project ECOHYDRO that will start in 2024 targets the reduction of wholelifetime costs of hydrogen storage technologies, the development ofenvironmentally sustainable and circular storage systems, all the whileensuring the safety of the innovative hydrogen storage technologies, throughthe development of filament wound composite hydrogen storage tanks using highstrength carbon fibres, low viscosity thermoplastic liquid resin and instantin-situ photopolymerization.

Within this project, involving 15 industrial andacademic partners, this PhD focuses on the development and validation of a completeprocess model considering all aspects of the process (material behaviour, tow compaction, void formation, orientationeffects, in-situ polymerization evolution, shrinkage and residual stressprediction). While many partial models in literature exist, they often ignoreone or more of the submodels (for instance curing shrinkage, void formation,stress development). The goal of the model and the experimental assessment ofthe winding process is to generate insight in the process and allow offlineoptimization of the winding process to minimize development and manufacturingcosts and maximize part performance and durability, enabling longevity of thetank and potential reuse. The research includes experimental characterization of the materials andthe microstructure (using μ-CT) as link towards thermomechanical performancemodeling of filament wound pressure vessels, which is subject of another PhDresearch.

The PhD research is supervised by Prof. Ivens andLomov (KU Leuven, Belgium), and Prof. Park (IMT Nord Europe, France). Theresearch activities during the four year PhD will be executed at bothuniversities on a 50-50 basis.

  • A master's degree in mechanical or materials engineering
  • Knowledge of the mechanics and processing of fibre reinforced polymers
  • An interest in both experimental and modeling research
  • Distinguished her- or himself during the education, with specialattention to research projects, master thesis and modeling courses
  • Fluent knowledge of English, good knowledge of Dutch or French is anadvantage.
  • An open minded attitude
  • Team player, as she or he will be part of theComposite Materials Group of KU Leuven, the Centre for Materials &Processes of IMT Nord Europe and the research team of the ECOHYDRO project.
  • Offer
  • A high-level and exciting internationalresearch environment in two renowned universities.
  • Being part of international project team witha multitude of contacts in Europe and worldwide
  • A PhD title from KU Leuven, one of Europe'stop universities (after approximately 4 years of successful research).
  • A thorough scientific education in the frameof a doctoral training program.
  • A tax-free PhD grant.
  • The possibility to participate in local as wellas international courses, workshops and conferences.
  • website of Composite Materials Group, KU Leuven website of Centre for Materials & Processes, IMT Nord Europe


    For more information please contact

    Prof. dr. ir. Jan Ivens, tel.: +32 16 32 86 12, mail: [email protected] or

    Prof. dr. ir. Stepan Lomov, tel.: +32 16 32 12 10, mail: [email protected] or

    Prof.Chung-Hae Park, tel.: +33 3 27 71 21 87, mail chung-hae.park@imt-nord-

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at [email protected].

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