Research Projects

All research projects at the School of Engineering. You can search keywords within Project title and filter by Research Institute.

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Project Title Principal Supervisor Research Institutes Project Summary
Measurement and modelling of powder flow in flexible containers

Prof. Jin Ooi

Infrastructure and Environment

The research focuses on understanding cohesive powder flow in flexible bulk solid containers (buggies and bulk bags) with a view to develop a design methodology for ensuring reliable discharge from these containers. The project involves experimental powder flowability characterisation, finite element analysis of the stresses in flexible containers and pilot scale experiments to study the powder flow field and validate the new design methodology for reliable discharge.

Are some phobias good? Examining hydro-mechanical relationships in hydrophobic soils

Dr Chris Beckett

Infrastructure and Environment

Extreme climatic events in the 21st century threaten the resilience of geotechnical engineering structures. Low-permeability barriers are at a particularly high risk of inundation under flooding or cracking during droughts, compromising the barriers and permitting contamination of the surrounding ground.

Dense suspension rheology through DEM simulations

Dr. Jin Sun

Infrastructure and Environment

Mud, slurry, coffee, paints, cements, batteries and many other everyday materials have particles suspended in a liquid. We need to understand the flow behaviour to handle, and process such materials for traditional and innovative applications. Our research seeks to understand the common features of the flow behaviour of different materials using simple particle based simulations. In particular, we focus on dense suspensions where the particles occupy more than 50 % by volume of the solution.

Effect of particle shape, size and particle friction in granular solid flow in railway ballast

Prof. Xuecheng Bian

Infrastructure and Environment

In the Chinese southeast coastal areas, most of the rail transit infrastructures are built on the soft soil. Infrastructures construction and operation including high speed railway or urban railway system require a good understanding of the behavior of the soft soil subject to the static and dynamic loading induced by the infrastructure.

Modelling of dense suspensions rheology

Dr. Jin Sun

Infrastructure and Environment

We examine the rheology of granular dense suspensions using computer simulations with discreste particles and develop constitutive models for flow of such suspensions.

Multi-scale analysis of DEM data to enhance the prediction at system scale

Prof. Jin Ooi

Infrastructure and Environment

While the discrete element method (DEM) can provide particle-scale information to inform the design of particulate equipment, many industrial sectors are interested in large-scale modelling and scaling-up processes [1].

Investigating the micromechanics of granular soils subjected to cyclic loading using the discrete element method

Dr Kevin Hanley

Infrastructure and Environment

The objective of this research is to investigate the behavior of Dunkerque sand under undrained triaxial cyclic loading using the discrete element method (DEM).

Particle Dynamics and suspension rheology in electrical discharge

Dr. Jin Sun

Infrastructure and Environment

The Edinburgh part of the project focuses on multi-physics modelling of particle dynamics and suspension rheology in electrical discharge processes. This work is an integrated part of an EPSRC funded project to develop novel electrical discharge methods (EDM) for functional surface coating, collaborating with The University of Nottingham. This project aims to revolutionise the way industrial electrical discharge machining processes can be used. It will transform the process from a machining only technique to a method that is also capable of novel surface treatments at the same time. 

Rheology of Dense Suspension System containing Frictional and Frictionless Particles

Dr. Jin Sun

Infrastructure and Environment

From cement and ceramic pastes to paints and drilling fluids, dense suspensions of solid particles immersed in a liquid are ubiquitous in industries.   Understanding the rheology of dense suspensions is important for explaining and predicting the multiphase flow behavior in traditional and innovative industrial processes. In this project, DEM simulations are employed to understand the rheology of suspensions containing different particles with different surface properties.

Simulation of Irregular, Abradable Particles in DEM

Dr Kevin Hanley

Infrastructure and Environment

Particle shape has important effects on bulk materials as sandpiles and mixtures; temporal changes of the shape (e.g. due to surface abrasion) also have severe consequences in many industrial sectors. To represent irregular particles, a compact “irregularity function” can be stored for each particle which describes how the shape deviates from a bounding sphere. Abrasion can be studied by adopting irregularity functions which can change with time depending on contact force.

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