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Course paper / final thesis

Development of virtual micro-models to model crack evolution during pyrolysis in manufacturing Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC)

Starting date


Duration of contract

6 months

Type of employment


At the department of ceramic composite structures at DLR (German Aerospace Center), Institute of Stuctures and Design, ceramic matrix composites (CMC) have been developed since the late 1980s. These materials exhibit damage tolerant fracture behavior, good thermal shock resistance and insensitivity towards cyclic fatigue. So called C/C-SiC materials are manufactured via liquid silicon infiltration (LSI), a robust process based on three characteristic steps: (1) Manufacture of a CFRP preform; (2) Pyrolysis, resulting in a porous C/C preform; (3) Siliconization by capillary infiltration of Si in the C/C preform and chemical reaction of Si with C, building up a SiC matrix. Each step comprises of certain parameters which have influence over the macroscopic properties of the material. The aim of this work is to study the influence of different fibre preforms such as unidirectional layers, woven fabric and wound fabric over the crack evolution in the matrix during the pyrolysis step. Ultimately, the models will be validated with the help of the microscopic images of the microstructure of the material.

The work will comprise:

  • understanding of manufacturing process of C/C-SiC
  • identification of major manufacturing parameters (Sensitivity Analysis)
  • extension of existing multiscale models to study the impact of different fibre preforms
  • development of approaches to include the parameters into micro-models
  • validation of models with help of experimental results
  • documentation of the study and implementation approach

Your qualifications:

  • Student of Computational, Material or Aerospace Engineering
  • knowledge of mechanics of composite materials
  • experience in FEM Simulation (Experience in Multimechanics advantageous)
  • basic knowledge of programming languages (e.g. Python) is a plus

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalleled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (f/m/x). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

Tobias Lehnert
Institute of Structures and Design

Phone: +49 711 6862-693

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Vacancy 56435

HR department Stuttgart

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DLR site Stuttgart

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DLR Institute of Structures and Design

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