Development of design and manufacturing framework for composite shafts

About this project

Project description

Design, dynamics and manufacturing of long, slender shafts such as the ones found in surface ships, submarines or trucks have not almost been addressed in the literature available so far. This project attempts to close this important gap, by undertaking an in-depth study into the aspects of Designing, Material selection, Manufacturing and Testing of fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composite shafts.

The research work is categorized into 3 phases as follows:

I. The Design Phase:
This phase is focused on the development of the design methodology of the Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) shaft and will also include the establishment of design tools/software to automate the process.
This phase includes the following sections:
– Establishing suitable material models for of the composite shafts
– Static Design of composite shaft
– Dynamic behaviour of composite rotors
– Fatigue and fracture and Life estimation

II. Manufacturing Phase:

CFRP samples with different laminate configurations will be fabricated to perform static and dynamic characterization of relevant material properties.
The manufacturing process can have a strong influence on the resulting mechanical properties. The advanced 4-axis filament winding capability at the University of Queensland will be used to produce a wide variety of laminates under realistic manufacturing conditions. These laminates will provide the input data to the design models and be used for validation.

Full CFRP composite rotor shafts with all necessary details will be produced to validate the design methodology using the 4-axis filament winding machine at the University of Queensland.

III. Testing Phase:

This activity will perform both component-level scale testing in the laboratory and ‘real-world’ testing to validate the derived design and design tools. Laboratory scale tests on composite shafts will be performed on the component level (complete shaft), to characterize key performance aspects such as static and fatigue performance.


Good mathematical background, Working knowledge of MATLAB and associated software

Information for applicants

Essential capabilities

Good mathematical background, Working knowledge of MATLAB and associated software

Desireable capabilities

Knowledge on Rotor dynamics, Composite materials, Machine design, FEM, Composite manufacturing, General material testing techniques

Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.) or equivalent degree in Mechanical (Preferable)/Aerospace Engineering, or equivalent degree in Mechanical(Preferable)/Aerospace Engineering

Project supervisors

Principal supervisors

UQ Supervisor

Associate professor Michael Heitzmann

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
IITD Supervisor

Professor Jayanta Kumar Dutt

Department of Mechanical Engineering