Master and bachelor assignments

Student internship seal modelling

Offer for an internship position at SKF ERC


Saving our natural resources is a main challenge for seal industry for both societal and economic perspectives. In order to reach this goal, it is increasingly relevant on one side to optimize the structures of seal materials and on the other develop and continuously improve computational tools enabling predictions of mechanical behavior of products in order to increase safety, reliability and longevity.

It has been recognized that the success of seal simulation using finite element analysis (FEA) largely depends on the careful selection of a suitable constitutive material model and the correct input of material constants associated with these models. On the latter perhaps the most important test of a material mechanical response is the tensile test.

Research subject

It is known that when tensile data of a rubber material are represented over a range of temperature and rates of elongation a parabolic shape curve, so-called failure envelope, sketched in Figure 1, appears. It shows that the breaking stress and elongation at break are described by a single curve when changing temperature and elongation rate. Following around the curve in a counter-clockwise sense corresponds to increasing the rate of extension or to decreasing the temperature. Failure envelopes are introduced to allow the characterization of surface damage and wear as a function of the operating conditions.

The research which will be carried out by the trainee will be mainly based on the characterization and modeling of several rubber compounds under uniaxial loading varying temperature and speed. The focus will be in understanding the rubber behavior at low temperatures, below Tg. Phenomena like rate-effects, dynamic loading, hysteresis, or Mullins effect will be also addressed.

Figure 1: Failure envelope

Internship conditions

SKF offers students an opportunity to add practical experience to, and deepen their theoretical knowledge at an internationally active company. The internship will take place in a research team having an extensive expertise on mechanical testing and modeling of rubber-like materials.

Practical information

Location Nieuwegein, Netherlands
Function types Technical, Laboratory positions, Research, Development
Scientific fields Natural Sciences, Engineering, Polymer Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science or Mechanical Engineering
Hours 40.0 hours per week
Education MSc student
Duration 4-6 months
Salary ~600€/month
Accommodation eligible for a company guest house

Contact information

For questions contact
Rossana Iervolino
+31 (0)30 607 5648