EPSRC Supported EngD Project Measuring and Predicting the Burst Properties and Trigger Points of Microcapsules


Professor Z. Zhang, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, UK.
Dr Serafim Bakalis, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, UK.
Mr Stefan Egan, Procter & Gamble, UK.

Tax free bursary of £ 20,500 p.a. plus tuition fees paid

To use a well established micromanipulation technique to characterise the mechanical strength of microcapsules with different chemistry, structure and environmental conditions, to establish their relationship, and to predict how the microcapsules are ruptured by mechanical forces generated during friction and rubbing between surfaces.

Tailoring the burst properties of microcapsules containing active materials is of critical importance to ensure instantaneous release at the desired trigger point. In consumer product applications, a wide range of stress and strain versus time histories are observed, even for the same product use. To ensure optimal product design, it is proposed to measure the mechanical strength of microcapsules in relation to their chemistry, structure and environmental conditions, and to investigate fracture of microcapsules where two different substrates containing microcapsules relevant to industrial applications are rubbing together. The results obtained will be used to establish a model to predict the breakage of microcapsules under the varying conditions relevant to ‘real world’ consumer applications. The work is very interdisciplinary in nature. The student should have very good knowledge of chemical engineering, mechanics, and material sciences, who will be trained in the skills of product formulation, microencapsulation, micromanipulation and tribology, which are available in the School of Chemical Engineering at Birmingham.

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Eligibility: to qualify for a full EPSRC studentship candidates must be a UK national and hold the minimum of at least a 2(i) or a 2(ii) plus MSc in a relevant discipline. If interested in the above position please send your cv to Dr Richard Greenwood at r.w.greenwood@bham.ac.uk via the Apply link below.

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