Jonathan Champagne: Predicting the behaviour of new industrial rubbers

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In December 2017, the Design & Engineering of Elastomers and Polymers (DEEP) Chair was inaugurated with Hutchinson, ESPCI Paris and Mines ParisTech. A synergy between physico-chemistry, physics and numerical modeling/simulation which allows to position itself on the analysis of the whole life cycle of the polymer for the innovation and design of new materials with exceptional mechanical properties, thus helping the design of new generations of polymers and composites with a view to lightening and reducing C02 emissions.
As a PhD student at the DEEP Hutchinson Chair, Jonathan Champagne is developing a model to understand and predict the properties of reinforced rubber and apply them to the industrial sector, particularly for helicopter drag dampers and aircraft engine mounts.

First engineering school in France by its volume of partnership research, MINES ParisTechThe PSL University, a member of the PSL University, has set itself the ambition, through research and innovation, to respond to the scientific and technological challenges of tomorrow, particularly in the fields of energy transition and predictive sciences for the industry of the future.

To reflect this dynamic, MINES ParisTech regularly offers you the opportunity to discover the portraits and career paths of talented doctoral students. Today, a meeting with Jonathan Champagne, MINES ParisTech PhD student in the framework of the DEEP Hutchinson Chair (Design & Engineering of Elastomers and Polymers).

During his engineering school studies at Centrale Marseille between 2013 and 2017, Jonathan discovered his passion for mechanics during a semester, between March and July 2015, at the Beihang University (BUAA) in Beijing: "I'm very proud to be part of this project. a revelation, it was great to be with people of different nationalities and to have exchanges on one and the same field. "

From September 2015 to January 2016, during his gap year, he came into contact for the first time with the team of Sabine Cantournet, teacher-researcher at the MINES ParisTech materials centre, following the advice of one of his professors. There he discovered the mechanics of polymer materials and in particular the numerous behavioural non-linearities of reinforced rubbers. Still looking for his future path, this internship decided him to go into research rather than a design office. "At 25 years old, to be at the origin of something new, to propose and test a model is for me much more creative and exciting."

A thesis on reinforced elastomers

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In February 2016, he begins the second part of his break with a humanitarian project in the Vanuatu archipelago where he participates, with his best friend, in the development of a new system for drying seeds from pods for cocoa farmers. This work has enabled the quality of the beans produced to improve. This feat triggered a trigger in him that will definitively guide his career.

A taste for research, industry, opportunities to work at the other end of the world: the motivation is there to continue on to a thesis after its final year.

In October 2017, it is within the DEEP Hutchinson Chair, supervised by Sabine Cantournet at MINES ParisTech and François Lequeux of ESPCI Paris, that Jonathan Champagne is dedicating his thesis to the "Physico-mechanical modelling of the non-linear behaviour of reinforced elastomers". This thesis subject allows him to continue his research work initiated during his internship and continued during his final internship. He finds in this laboratory an excellent quality of supervision combined with a very diverse range of specialties around materials.

Jonathan works on reinforced elastomers: a silicone matrix consolidated by silica nano-particles. The presence of these reinforcements significantly improves some of its mechanical properties such as stiffness, dissipation, fatigue resistance and abrasion resistance.

As a result, these elastomers are widely used in industry (helicopter drag dampers, aircraft engine mounts). This is why the mechanical properties of these materials must be predictable.

Tomorrow... He hopes to open the doors of R&D in companies, in France or elsewhere in Europe and around the world, and to pursue a path of research that is resolutely his own; that of physical understanding.

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