Composites Materials

The impact research activities of the Mechanics of Materials and Structures research group focus mainly on composites materials, and involve extensive numerical simulation as well as fully instrumented experimental input and validation. Impact regimes vary from bird impact, over crashworthiness and water slamming to explosion. For the experimental part, the group has falling weight as well as pneumatically accelerated test setups, equipped with – amongst others - three high speed cameras.

Composite materials are well known for their good, but complex mechanical behaviour in fatigue. Similar to the impact research activities, the modelling part of the fatigue research is supported by extensive experimental observation and monitoring. The techniques used involve full field optical deformation measurements (e.g. digital image correlation), embedded optical fibre sensing (e.g. multi-dimensional Bragg sensors), ultrasonic stiffness and damage characterization (e.g. ultrasonic polar scanning) and X-ray computer micro-tomography.