Investigation of Particle Fusion in Additive Manufacturing Using coupled DEM/Peridynamic Theory

This PhD Studentship will be jointly awarded by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) and Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering (NAOME) at the University of Strathclyde. The student will be based at James Weir Fluid Laboratory ( and will work in close collaboration with the PMMA Lab at NAOME.

Please note the project is subject to University approval, and would cover Home/EU tuition fees and a stipend (EPSRC level), at approximately £15,000 per annum

The project is open to UK/EU applicants only.

  • Number of scholarships One
  • Value Home/EU Tuition fees and stipend
  • Opens 23 May 2017
  • Deadline 1 June 2017
  • Help with Tuition fees, Living costs
  • Duration 36 months


Candidates must hold at least a first class honours (or equivalent) in Mechanical,  Aerospace, Physics or other closely related fields.

Project Details

During this PhD the successful candidate will focus on the Particle Bed Fusion process in additive manufacturing. The project can be classified under broader areas of granular flows and complex fluids. The PBF technique is a promising AM technology which has recently been exploited by various industries such as automotive, aerospace and medical. It uses polymeric or metallic particles which are spread on a fabrication piston to form a thin powder bed with a roller or blade. A laser (or electron) beam is then focused onto the bed which scans a raster pattern of a single layer of the part by “melting” or “sintering” the powder grains in its path. This process is repeated until the product is successfully fabricated (See the open access paper at for more information)

Although the technology can potentially revolutionise the manufacturing land scape, highly complex and multi-physics nature of the process is hindering the development of the technology and introduction of new materials. As a result, material selection for PBF devices and their design, optimisation and operation currently remains an empirical task which depends on the intuition and ”know-how” of highly skilled engineers.

This problem will be tackled by development of a coupled Peridynamics-Discrete Element Method (DEM) to allow for including the effects of complex contact and material mechanics in particle based simulations. This capability enables the simulation of multi-scale phenomena such as sintering, growth, breakage and deformation and to predict quality of the final product in PBF process. The PD provides a non-local description of material properties and a meso-scale framework founded on a firm theoretical ground to model these phenomena. This extends the time and length scales that can be covered by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and rids the model of significant empiricism and ad hoc assumptions in macro-scale descriptions. This quality combined by accuracy and speed of DEM to capture particle collision will provide a unique opportunity to tackle the current challenges in the industry.

The successful candidate is expected to develop significant expertise in areas of granular flows, complex fluids and High Performance Computing. The student will benefit from the collegial environment provided by the Mechanical and Aerospace Department and in particular, James Weir Fluid Laboratory to thrive in this field and to complete their PhD to the highest standards.

Key subject areas: Granular Flows, Complex Fluids.

How to apply

To be considered for this project, please email covering letter, CV and references (or provide names of two academic referees)  to Dr Sina Haeri