Open PhD position: Development of spin forming technology of cryogenic hydrogen tanks for world’s first zero emission commercial aircrafts

    PHD THESIS CEMEF 2021: Development of spin forming technology of cryogenic hydrogen tanks for world’s first zero emission commercial aircrafts


    On September 21st 2020, Airbus revealed three concept designs of the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft whose estimated entry into service year is 2035. These game-changing concept aircraft, powered by hydrogen, will enable the integration of all required technologies. The business benefit is the decarbonisation of the aircraft industry.
    Next steps are the maturation of all required hydrogen technologies by 2025 and the development of full-scale aircraft prototypes by the late 2020s.

    Example of spinning process and simulation

    In order to support Airbus ambition of bringing a zero-emission commercial aircraft to the market by 2035, this thesis will be an enabler to mature and manage the knowledge of Spin forming process on one specific aluminium alloy elementary part highlighted on the hydrogen tank design mockup. Nevertheless, it could also be an opportunity for other elementary parts, already in service. Spin forming is an incremental forming process for which the component to be formed is placed on a rotating mandrel and deformed iteratively by two rollers which reduces the component thickness. This process enables to produce lighter and stronger parts at a reasonable cost. However, due to the complexity of the process, the use of numerical simulation is mandatory and will be extensively developed and used in this project. Material characterization is also essential (behaviour and ductile damage) to produce parts of high quality.
    This thesis will be part of one Corac [COnseil pour la Recherche Aéronautique Civile] project (governmental funding).

    Research program

    Main research axes are described below:
    - Design rules definition in accordance with manufacturing drivers (Key Process Parameters). The PhD thesis will be supported by all stakeholders (French industrial company through a partnership and another Airbus supplier)
    - Bibliographical study of the spinning process and on the influence of loading path on damage and fracture.
    - Numerical modelling of the process and identification of the loading path. The Abaqus finite element software will be used.
    - Material characterisation in terms of behavior law and ductile damage to prevent fracture.
    - Design/Stress analysis (residual stresses, mechanical behavior, damage tolerance, S
    - Limitations, capabilities (tolerances) for End to End process (assembly)
    - Trials (correlation with Simulation). The PhD thesis will be supported by Airbus partners and Airbus suppliers.
    - Analysis of Environmental footprint

    Profile of candidates

    Master 2 or equivalent (Engineer) requested with good knowledge on Metallic Materials & forming processes, Mechanical behavior with high plasticity and numerical modeling (FEM - Abaqus). As material characterisation is key, experience in experimental methods/techniques of characterisation will be appreciated. The candidate should also be able to work in a very multi functional and international team (current exchanges in english).

    Apply to this PhD offer

    General informations

    • Industrial field: Mechanics and Materials
    • Location: Location at Centre de mise en forme des Matériaux (CEMEF) a research center of MINES ParisTech located at Sophia Antipolis &
      Airbus Operation, St Nazaire plant inside Manufacturing Engineering R&D team (Loire Atlantique 44).
    • Keywords: Zero Emission Aircraft, Numerical modeling, Non-linear material behavior, Manufacturing processes.
    • Duration: 3 years
    • Salary: CIFRE AirBus


    • CEMEF, MINES ParisTech: Pierre-Olivier Bouchard and Katia Mocellin, Computational Solid Mechanics group [CSM], Elisabeth Massoni
    • Airbus, St Nazaire: Anne Lepied

    To apply

    • papers requiered to apply:
    • your most recent CV
    • academic reports for the last 3 years
    • 1 or 2 recommendation letters from internship advisors or Professors

    Information! Application only on the CEMEF website.
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