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Structural loading mechanisms and their modelling


VTT tests the performance of various structures, structural systems, components and joints to enable optimal performance in challenging conditions. Our competence is the modelling of loads and sustainability under extreme conditions and long term stresses, for instance:

  • Loads caused by interaction with nature, like loads due to ice, wind and earthquake
  • Traffic induced vibration and base noise
  • Impact and explosion loads
  • Fatigue
  • Effect of environmental conditions, like high temperature and moisture
  • Deformation of wooden structures and failure due to changes in temperature and moisture
  • Simulation of intelligent structure.

The most important aims in the numerical simulation are to model geometrical non-linearity, failure mechanisms and the functionality of the material or material combination. The main materials in our applications are functional materials, steel, ice, wood and concrete. The modelling takes into account the dynamic interaction between the structure and loading; for instance, ice-structure, soil-structure, fluid-structure, vehicle-structure and wind-structure interaction.

The development of challenging experimental testing methods, monitoring and execution of the tests have important role in our research for verifying models and products.


  • Sustainability of nuclear power plant in all possible situations, also in extreme conditions like accidents, earthquakes and air craft collation
  • Performance of buildings under traffic-induced vibration
  • Sustainability of off-shore structures in Arctic conditions - determination of ice loads
  • Influence of the climate change to infrastructure
  • Development of new products and improvement of their behaviour
  • Simulation of intelligent structures based on functional materials
  • Sustainability of bridges and control of life-time


  • Application of advanced theoretical models into numerical analysis of client’s products and/or material
  • Experimental verification of models and products especially in extreme conditions

References and merits

  • Research staff: 15 man years, 7 doctors, 1 docent
  • 15 - 20 scientific publications per year
  • Unique facilities for experimental research: Impact test facility, earthquake table, full-scale loading tests for concrete, steel, and wood structures, fatigue loading device, wireless data transfer in field tests.
  • Research partners: Aalto University, University of Oulu, NRC Canada, Fraunhofer Germany, Ku Leuven Belgium and Academy of Czech, BRI Japan, University of Yamaguchi Japan, IPPT Poland, Dalian Kiina, Universities in St. Petersburg and Moscow, STUK (Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland), IRSN France, TVO, Finnish Road Administration, international oil companies, forest industry, mechanical industry.
  • Examples of international projects: fluid-pressure devices, air craft impact against NPP safety core, accumulation of ice on electrical power cables, heating of wind turbine blades, ice loads against off-shore structures.
  • International co-operation: EU projects, networking (cost leadership), members in expert groups, research exchange with research institutes and universities

Ridge-structure interaction simulation.

Additional information

Jaakko Heinonen
Senior Research Scientist
+358 20 722 6907