Research objectives and content
The principle objective of the project is to achieve a basic theoretical framework for the mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of both aqueous and solid foams. The existing collaboration with Dr. Verbist and co-workers at SRTCA has already generated significant published research in the area of electrical conductivity and its application to foam monitoring in industry. The candidate has complimentary expertise in simulation software. The combination of computational modeling and experiment should prove fruitful in respect of: dependance of foam resistivity on liquid fraction; corresponding problems of thermal conductivity in solid foams; loacal mechanics of foam drainage; elastic/plastic/brittle mechanical response of solid foams.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
SRTCA is a major industrial, cross-disicplinary research centre having large scale computational and engineering facilities. A period of research here would provide invaluable training in the use of such large scale resources particularly the SP2 supercomputer. Since applications of this project will be of a materials science and engineering nature it will also involve substantial collaboration with workers in those fields. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
SRTCA is keen to attain a complete understanding of the mechanical properties of aqueous foam in the context of such applications as enhanced oil recovery. Recent legislation on the use of CFC's in foam generation and the necessity of refining replacement materials have made it essential to understand the details of thermal conductivity in solid foams for use in insulation and refrigeration and the mechanical properties of polyurethane foam for automobile seats. The candidate's backround in foam research and experience of computational methods complements Shell's current foam research needs