Dr Kathy Han

Modelling of aircraft coating degradation, The University of Queensland


Dr Kathy Han was awarded her degree in 2014. Kathy’s dissertation reports on the development of a special purpose finite element simulation program designed to combine an augmented finite element method and cohesive zone model to simulate initiation and propagation of both cohesive and adhesive cracks in heterogeneous aircraft coating systems. The effects of filler particles on the coating lifetime were studied, including particle size, shape, volume fraction, and  particle/matrix interface adhesion. Results indicated that low volume fraction, high interface adhesion and smaller size particles improve coating durability. Among the three factors (filler size, shape and volume fraction), the filler volume fraction had the most prominent influence on coating lifetimes while the filler shape had the least.

The output of this research made an important and fundamental contribution to DMTC Project 1.6 – Aircraft prognostic tools to reduce corrosion impacts. This project focused on developing and delivering a Corrosion Prognostic Health Management (CPHM) capability through a variety of measuring, detecting and management tools with DSTO and BAE Systems the major partners. These tools will be used to reduce the impact of corrosion on structural integrity, availability, maintenance effort and support costs for military platforms. Dr Han’s project contributed by providing a body of knowledge to better understand fundamental failure mechanisms of aircraft coatings and the potential to be used as a design tool to optimize the expected lifetime characteristics of new coatings. Dr Han is  orking towards becoming an expert in her professional area. Currently Dr Han is assessing career opportunities in both academia and industry in positions that offer professional enhancement and are of technological interest.