Facilities and Equipment

Experimental facilities


  • Bird strike set-up for real birds and gelatine replicas
  • Pneumatic launcher
  • Two drop weight towers (3 m and 6 m)
  • Pendulum impact test rig for glass windows
  • Lab-scale set-up for slamming wave impact
  • Three digital high speed cameras (up to 250,000 fps)
  • High-end transient recorder/oscilloscope (up to 100 MHz sampling rate)
  • Charpy impact tests (dynamic fracture toughness)
  • Dynamic load cells, accelerometers, displacement sensors


  • Two servohydraulic machines
  • Accessoiries for tension-compression and pure shear testing
  • Devices for 3- and 4-point bending
  • Two extensometers
  • Electrical resistance measurement


  • 3D LDV
  • Thermographic camera
  • 2D and 3D Digital Image Correlation (static and high-speed)
  • Optical fibre sensors and read-out equipment (up to 2 kHz)
  • Ultrasound phased array (64 probes)
  • Shadow and projection moire
  • Ultrasound scanning facility for C-scans and polar scans
  • Schlieren set-up for acousto-optics research

General mechanics of composite materials

  • Electromechanical testing machine with temperature chamber (-150 C to +350 C)
  • Electrodynamic shaker (up to 10 kHz)
  • Laser vibrometer
  • Set-up for measurement of modal frequencies and frequency-dependent modal damping
  • Test set-ups for static and dynamic testing of racing bicycle frames
  • Fracture mechanics tests for composites and polymers (DCB, ENF, ELS, TDCB, CT)
  • Fracture mechanics tests for adhesives (dolly testing, DCB testing)
  • Long-term experience with outdoor field testing without electrical grid connection (sailing yachts, wave energy devices, bicycle frames,…)
  • Hand lay-up and vacuum assisted resin transfer moulding
  • Infrared welding set-up
  • Autoclave with cure monitoring
  • Filament winding machine
  • Measurement of fibre volume fraction of carbon and glass fibre composites

Numerical facilities

Commercial software

  • Implicit and explicit finite element suite ABAQUS
  • Explicit finite element code LS-Dyna
  • Open source finite element code Code_Aster
  • HyperMesh and Gmsh high-performance finite-element pre-processors
  • Composite draping software (Catia/CPD, Simulayt/Composite Modeler)
  • Software for kinematics and multibody dynamics (Universal Mechanism)
  • Optimization software (iSight, evolutionary strategies)
  • Numerical software (Mathcad, Matlab, Maple, Mathematica)
  • CAD/CAE software (SolidWorks, Catia)
  • Data acquisition software (LabVIEW)

In-house developments

  • SERVE: Statistically Equivalent Representative Volume Element (RVE) software
  • ORAS: Object-Oriented RVE Assembly Software
  • Blade Mesher: meshing tools for large wind turbine blades
  • Five workstations for intensive calculations
  • ¨Parallel computing infrastructure for finite element calculations (12000+ cores, 3.2 Terabyte RAM)
  • Supernode with 720 GB RAM