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Bryce Malton

Former Research Student

Research overview

The interaction of the commercial air travel system with environmental hazards of all types including volcanic ash, ice, sand and lightning.

Thesis Title

Airborne particle impact on metallic surfaces: an empirical study of the relationship between fracture dynamics and fracto-emission.


Thesis Outline

This work has been driven by the need to devise a cost-effective particle detection system for aviation.  Airborne particulates such as volcanic ash, ice and sand represent a significant aviation safety hazard, and yet a robust detection system does not exist.  This work may provide the theoretical underpinning for future devices based upon fracto-emission.  

It also fills a gap in the current research between pure particle fracture dynamics, which resides in the powder processing field, and fracto-emission, which resides in the fields of engineering material failure and physics. 

The primary aim of the study is to quantitatively explore the relationship between the charge created when an airborne particle impacts a surface and then fractures, and the dynamics driving the fracture of the particle.  By knowing the properties of the impact in terms of the forces involved, the physical particle products left after the impact and the charges generated, we will develop quantification of the charge products emitted when a specific characterised particle impacts a specific characterised material at a specific speed and impact angle in a specific characterised atmosphere.