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The materials and design techniques used in superconducting whole-body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) magnets have been refined over time and now make more extensive use of composite materials than previously. Material combinations in use include Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymers (GFRP), electrical insulation, encapsulation resin and superconducting wire. Because of the high precision of the magnetic field required in MRI systems, and the high electromagnetic forces that are induced, this requires a unique combination of GRP composite and coil windings.
The composites constituents and adhesive joints are subjected to very high loads during operation and also transportation, that lead to stress states that may be critical drivers for design and structural integrity. Thus, the design and management of the thermal mismatch of the constituents and the residual stresses induced by these, as well a detailed understanding of operational and transport conditions are crucial for the development of reliable and safe MRI magnets.
The overarching objective of this project is to assess the transportation induced fatigue behaviour and fatigue life of composite cylinder/superconducting coil assemblies used for MRI magnets, taking into account the unique combination of materials and the complex interactions existing in the MRI magnet construction and operational lifecycle.
This Icase award studentship is available from Sept 2020 and will cover the following for 4 years: