The project is concerned with the rheological characterisation of thermoplastic fibre-reinforced materials. Continuous fibre-reinforced materials are highly anisotropic with principal directions along and transverse to the fibres. In order to model the flow of these materials it is necessary to characterise their properties by determining the longitudinal and transverse viscosities. It has been shown that this can be achieved most easily in a rotational rheometer by off-centering octagonal samples. A rotational rheometer suitable for off-centered tests has been constructed at the University of Limerick. There is no commercial instrument that meets the desired specifications.
The object of the project is to exploit the candidate's background in rheology to interpret the output from this instrument and to use it to construct a theoretical model that can be used to predict the response of the material in a forming process.