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Researcher In Materials And Solid Mechanics Modelling H/F

Contribute to modelling micro-crack propagation in YSZ during Ni re-oxidation for SOCs in Grenoble, France. Engineer with materials mechanics PhD, modeling experience, and collaborative project involvement. Fluent in English.

CEA - Commissariat à l'énergie atomique
CEA - Commissariat à l'énergie atomique
Grenoble, France  UTC+01:00   On-site   Contract Position   10000+   More than 3 months ago

Solid oxide cells (SOCs) are electrochemical devices operating at high temperature that can directly convert fuel into electricity (fuel cell mode – SOFC) or electricity into fuel (electrolysis mode – SOEC). In recent years, the interest on SOCs has grown significantly thanks to their wide range of technological applications that could offer innovative solutions for the transition toward a renewable energy market. Indeed, SOCs present various advantages, such as a good reversibility, a large fuel flexibility and a high efficiency. Despite all these advantages, the SOCs durability and reliability still need to be improved to enhance the competiveness of the technology. Aside from all the degradation phenomena activated upon operation, the cell is also submitted to various mechanical loading inducing a damage in the cell components (i.e. electrodes and electrolyte).

The state-of-the-art ‘hydrogen’ electrode is made of a cermet of Nickel and Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (Ni-YSZ). In operation, the Ni is in its reduced state and ensures the electronic conductivity of the electrode while YSZ imparts its ionic conductivity. Failure in the system (such as fuel overutilization due to a problem of gas feeding, gas leakage or air reintroduction during the system shutdown) leads to the Ni re-oxidation. During the transformation of Ni into NiO, an expansion of the particles generates micro-cracks in the YSZ network of the cermet. This deterioration of the electrode decreases its performances leading to a reduction of the SOC lifetime. Therefore, the robustness of the cell components must still be improved especially for the cermet. However, the threshold in terms of Ni re-oxidation triggering the fracture in the cermet is not precisely known. Moreover, the density and distribution of micro-cracks are essential to assess their real impact on the performances. The determination of such quantities in the complex 3D microstructure of the electrode is a prerequisite to design a robust cell.

In this work, it is proposed by a modelling approach to calculate the nucleation and the propagation of the micro-cracks in YSZ during Ni re-oxidation. For this purpose, a model will be developed to compute the evolution of the internal stresses in the YSZ network during Ni re-oxidation. The creation and propagation of cracks will be then simulated using existing numerical tools at the laboratory based of the phase-field modelling. The density and reparation of cracks in the electrode will be simulated for a standard cermet. The results will be compared to available experiments at the laboratory for validation. Once validated, the model will be used to identify solutions in terms of microstructure and materials to mitigate the degradation. The candidate will be involved in an European project called MatchMaker.

Profil du candidat

Candidate profile :

  • Engineer or equivalent with a doctorate in the field of materials mechanics
  • Higher educational training in mechanics and materials.
  • Experience and interest in modeling is essential
  • Knowledge of software such as Matlab and Comsol would be useful
  • Experience in participating in or managing collaborative research projects would be a plus

Fluency in English is necessary.

Endowed with a good spirit of synthesis, you demonstrate scientific rigor, responsiveness, autonomy, creativity, adaptability and good interpersonal skills. You enjoy working within a very dynamic multidisciplinary team.

Reference: 2023-29532

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About the role

Nov 14, 2023

Contract Position

Company

May 11, 2024

On-site

Grenoble, France

Doctorate

UTC+01:00

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