Protective Structures - Research Programme - Centre for Advanced Structural Analysis - CASA
Design against accidental loads, such as explosions, impacts and collisions, has become increasingly important for a number of engineering and industrial applications. To meet the challenges posed by such complex loading conditions, product development and structural analysis are increasingly carried out in virtual environments using the finite element method to achieve safer and more cost-effective designs. The fundamental goal of protective structures is to improve the survivability of people and vital infrastructure to a given threat. It is important to realize that the protective structure is the last layer of defence against a threat when all other protective measures have failed. It is thus of utmost importance that such structures are designed and validated on a sound theoretical and experimental basis. To do so, accurate, efficient and robust constitutive models and solution techniques used in a multi-scale modelling context are required. Further, new designs need to be validated through high-precision experiments involving advanced instrumentation such as three-dimensional digital image correlation for full-field displacement and strain measurements. Although much information can be obtained from laboratory tests, relying on such an approach would be too costly and inefficient. Computer-aided design, together with a strategy for material selection, optimization and well-selected validation tests, can significantly lower the cost and enhance the overall quality and efficiency of the required protection.
The main objective of this research programme will be to develop advanced computational tools and establish validated modelling guidelines for computer-aided design of safer and more cost-effective protective structures. Another objective is to replace phenomenological models with physical models in a top-down/bottom-up multi-scale modelling approach in order to reduce the number of mechanical tests as much as possible in the design phase. This will be carried out in close collaboration with the other projects within CASA.