Master 2 internship « Assessment of thermoformability conditions for conformable electronics »

Job description


Thermoforming process is a moulding technique which is used to form thermoplastic sheets into 3D shapes with different surface textures. Thermoformed products cover a myriad of applications in different sectors dominated by packaging but also including automotive industry (e.g. textured dash panels) and mechatronic applications (e.g. conformable electronic circuits). In 2021, the global market of thermoformed plastics presented 40.5 × 109 USD with an expected growth of almost 5 % by 2030. One of the existing strategies to conform functional thermoplastics is by the incorporation of a functional layer in between the layers of a thermoformable substrate and then forming the complex (i.e. multi-layer sheet) into the desired final shape. Nevertheless, the heterogeneity of thermo-mechanical properties between the substrate and the functional layers can result in unstable mould-forming operations. Indeed, the thermorforming process englobes a sequence of operations among which infra-red heating and mould-based forming. Due to local heterogeneities in material properties, difference of local temperature is inevitable and thus, the following mechanical deformations can be source of flaws such as micro-cracking of the functional layer, excessive thinning, etc. To address such flaws, the thermoforming team at Materials and Processes Centre of IMT Nord Europe has been working on developing a hybrid (experimental-numerical) mechanical characterization approach to optimize thermoforming conditions.

Objectives of the internship

Within the context of the current internship, the tasks will be focused on thermoforming of a functional thermoplastic applicable for conformable electronics (PET/Cu based). The functionalization of thermoplastics will be supported by the expertise of the Optics department from IMT Atlantique. The objectives consist in:

1) Thermo-mechanical characterization of provided functional complex plates;

2) Assessment of the thermoformability limits of the material based on full-field strain measurements;

3) Optimizing thermoforming conditions based on finite element simulations;

4) Suggesting guidelines to design an adaptive mould for shaping functional complex plates.

This internship will take place exclusively at the IMT Nord Europe's Centre for Education, Research and Innovation in Materials and Processes which is located in Douai, France. The duration will be limited to five months. The stipend amount is fixed to 600 €/month (i.e. 3.9 €/h on the basis of 22 working days per month).

Job requirements

Student profile

The candidate is preferably expected to have acquired courses related to material or mechanical engineering, to be at ease with experimental work and to have confirmed level in finite element simulations using Abaqus. Having an advanced level in scientific English is highly recommended.


To apply, please send the following documents to

- Curriculum vitae, motivation letter, at least one recommendation letter and academic transcripts of the previous two years.

Application deadline : 31/01/2023