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Home > Facilities & equipment

The Mechanics of Materials and Structures research group has a large number of facilities for research on impact, fatigue, NDT&E,... Below a list of the available facilities is listed, split up in two categories:

Experimental facilities
  • Impact
    • two drop weight towers (2.5 m and 6 m drop height)
    • high strain-rate hydraulic tensile machine (strain rates up to 100-200/s)
    • three digital high speed cameras (up to 250,000 fps)
    • high-end transient recorder/oscilloscope (up to 100 MHz sampling rate)
    • dynamic load cells, accelerometers, displacement sensors
    • bird strike set-up for real birds and gelatine replicas
    • pneumatic launcher
    • pendulum impact test rig for glass windows
    • lab-scale set-up for slamming wave impact
    • Charpy impact tests (dynamic fracture toughness)
    • Compression After Impact (CAI) test set-up

  • Fatigue
    • two servohydraulic machines
    • electric actuator for multi-axial tension/compression/torsion fatigue
    • set-up for fully-reversed cantilever bending fatigue
    • accessoiries for tension-compression and pure shear testing
    • devices for 3- and 4-point bending
    • two extensometers
    • electrical resistance measurement
    • surface mounted and embedded optical fibre sensors
    • online Digital Image Correlation (DIC) for fatigue measurement of strain/hysteresis/stiffness reduction
    • Rotating Bending Beam fatigue

    • ultrasound scanning facility for C-scans and polar scans
    • high-frequency ultrasound (up to 75 MHz) for inspection of very small defects
    • air-coupled ultrasound for low-frequency inspection (order 100's kHz)
    • ultrasound phased array (64 probes)
    • 3D infrared scanning laser vibrometer Polytec PSV-500-3D (up till 25 MHz)
    • active thermography with cooled infrared camera FLIR A6750sc and Edevis software
    • high frequency PCRT set-up for NDT of AM metals
    • 2D and 3D Digital Image Correlation (static and high-speed)
    • optical fibre sensors and read-out equipment (up to 2 kHz)
    • shadow and projection moire
    • Schlieren set-up for acousto-optics research
    • Optical microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
    • Online video-microscopy
    • X-ray micro-tomography
    • Dielectric Analysis (DEA) for curing analysis

  • General mechanics of composite materials
    • electromechanical testing machine with temperature chamber (-150 C to +350 C)
    • electrodynamic shaker (up to 10 kHz)
    • 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
    • hydraulic press with vacuum frames for thermoplastic composite manufacturing up till 400 degrees Celsius
    • 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
    • implicit finite element code Siemens-NX
    • Digimat software for mean-field homogenization (e-XStream/MSC Software)
    • Mimics Innovation suite for medical image segmentation and 3D printing design
    • 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)
    • Digital Image Correlation (DIC) software Vic3D (Correlated Solutions)

  • 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