In addition to CASA and FractAl, SIMLab is involved in a series of other projects. Some belong to other funding schemes administered by the Research Council of Norway. Two examples are Innovation (IPN) and Competence (KPN) building projects for industry, respectively.
Much research is needed to fulfil the ambition of the Norwegian parliament to build a ferry-free highway from Kristiansand to Trondheim. One challenge is crossing the Sognefjord where it is 1.3 kilometres deep and 3.7 kilometres wide. Researcher Martin Kristoffersen works for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and cooperates closely with SIMLab. He investigates what would happen in an explosion inside a submerged floating tunnel. No such tunnel exists today.
Aluminium power pylons
It takes 12 helicopter trips to get a single power pylon to its destination. Since Norway is full of mountains, this means a lot of expensive transport. In comes IPN AluMast. The ambition is to make pylons of aluminium instead of steel. This could potentially reduce the need from 12 to 5 helicopter trips per pylon. Researcher Marius Andersen works with the behaviour and modelling of aluminium columns in AluMast.
Polymers in the Arctic
Polymers change behaviour at freezing temperatures. This is PhD candidate Joakim Johnsen’s domain. He works on the project Arctic Materials II, led by SINTEF. Johnsen seeks to develop a method to obtain local deformation data from experiments with polymers. He looks at the behaviour of two types of polymers at temperatures ranging from +25 to -30 degrees Celsius. He is also working on recording the self-heating in the material using an infrared camera.
Conductivity vs. strength
In KPN project AMPERE, the hunt is for the optimal combination of mechanical properties and electrical conductivity in aluminium alloys at elevated temperatures. Such properties are sought after in the engine room of cars, in heat exchangers and many other places. Potentially, aluminium could replace costly copper in subsea electric cables. CASA Professor Knut Marthinsen and SINTEF researchers Stéphane Dumoulin and Térence Coudert are central in the project.
Attention to corrosion
KPN project FICAL looks into aluminium grain borders with special attention on corrosion. Improved mechanical and corrosion properties would increase the potential for use of aluminium in the automotive industry. FICAL attacks these challenges at the nanoscale and seeks to develop modelling tools for optimizing alloy design and performance. CASA Professor Randi Holmestad and SINTEF researchers Calin Marioara, Jesper Friis and Inga Ringdalen are all involved.
The SIMLab research group hosted its first Centre for Research-based innovation in the period 2007-2014. The centre was simply called SFI SIMLab. The Centre's vision was to establish SIMLab as a world-leadung research centre for crashworthy and protective structures. The objective was to provide a technology platform for the development of safe and cost-effective structures.
SFI SIMLab was funded by the Research Council of Norway (main sponsor), NTNU (host), SINTEF (research partner), Audi, BMW, Benteler, Hydro, Norwegian Defense Estates Agency, Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Plastal, Renault, SSAB (Swedish Steel), Statoil, and Toyota.
Crashworthiness of Light-Weight Automotive Structures 2001-2007
In the period 2001-2007 SIMLab hosted the research project Crashworthiness of Light-Weight Automotive Structures supported by the Research Council of Norway through the NorLight programme and Hydro. The NorLight programme's objective was to establish the knowledge needed to increase the use of aluminium and other light metals through several competence projects in cooperation with Norwegian research institutions and Norwegian industry. SIMLab's project aimed at developing improved material models for the use of aluminium in cars.