My research involves the development of self-healing technologies as a method for improving the design life and damage tolerance of composite structures.
One of the greatest challenges in composites engineering is designing structures capable of withstanding BVID and other typical in-service impact events with confidence. Once damage has been incurred, traditional repair strategies tend to be rather invasive and require prior identification and assessment using NDT. Self-healing technologies aim to circumvent this approach by providing immediate response to damage events, without the need for outside intervention.
The primary purpose of this work is to develop established self-healing strategies for FRPs for industrial implementation. I am currently working on the development of industrially applicable composite structures with an integrated vascular and/or intrinsic self-healing functionality. Through the use of interleaves I am attempting to retard crack growth sufficiently to allow time for self-healing chemistries, carried through microvascules, to restore mechanical functionality.
Before joining ACCIS I worked as a mechanical engineer for MOOG Dublin developing structural components and fluid control systems for the civilian aerospace sector. Prior to this I completed an MSc in composite materials in Imperial College London and a BE in Mechanical Engineering in University College Dublin. I am supported by Marie Curie actions and the European Commission’s seventh framework programme (FP7).
Supervisors: Prof Michael Wisnom & Prof Ian Bond