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Structural integrity analyses

Competence

Approximately 30 specialists at VTT are using their knowledge and passion in structural integrity analyses for various sectors and applications. Structural analysis is based on the mathematical and physical theories suitable to model the behaviour of very general structures. The main theoretical approaches are the continuum mechanics, structural dynamics and the mechanics of materials. The most applied numerical method is the finite element method (FEM). Traditional subjects of structural analysis are buildings, bridges, aircraft, and ships. The recent advances in FEM computing have made it possible to numerically analyse very complex problems also in the context of other disciplines as magneto-mechanics, biotechnology, and fluid mechanics. Nowadays structural analysis can be described as one of the most powerful scientific tools for solving coupled problems of a multidisciplinary character in science and engineering.

Our current competence lies in the broad field of various structural integrity analyses, such as:

  • Non-linear dynamic time-dependent numerical analyses and simulations
  • Non-linear simulation of welding and manufacturing processes
  • Material fatigue
  • Computational fracture mechanics
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Modelling of materials and multi-material composites
  • Smart structures
  • Ice mechanics
  • Risk-informed life management of structures
  • Simulation of ships and other vehicles

Challenges

The current main challenges for us are closely related to the above mentioned competences with emphasis on the industrial field, especially nuclear energy.

  • Structures and components under exceptional loadings such as impacts, collisions, earthquakes, explosions, or otherwise exceptionally high temperature and pressure
  • The deformations in welded joints or components in different types of manufacturing processes or heat treatments
  • Material fatigue in cyclic loading
  • Stress Corrosion Cracking and low/high-cycle fatigue induced cracking
  • Material nonlinearities, fracture, failure mechanisms, life cycle phenomena and functionality in fibre-based and other porous materials
  • Excessive power plant inspection costs
  • Vibration and noise

The current expertise in several topics of structural integrity analysis can be exploited in other research fields by strongly promoting the cooperation among researchers of different disciplines.

Solutions

  • Structural integrity analyses utilising nonlinear numerical simulation, the most adequate constitutive models, both deterministic and probabilistic approach and wide knowledge of material and structure-based phenomena.
  • In-house test facilities for experimental verification.

Benefits

The benefits of structural analysis are most commonly linked to the safety, prolonged life-time and efficiency of structures and components. These lead not only to better productivity but also to more environmentally friendly solutions.

References and merits

  • Top-class national and very high class international expertise, including about 10 doctors
  • 20 - 30 scientific publications per year
  • Unique facilities for experimental research


Additional information

Arja Saarenheimo
Senior Research Scientist, Team leader
+358 20 722 4156

Merja Sippola
Senior Research Scientist
+358 20 722 5320

Jussi Solin
Senior Research Scientist
+358 20 722 6875