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Engineering Structures Group

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The structures research activity has a long history dating back to 1972. During the early years attention was focused primarily on numerical computer analysis of structural response, especially the flexural and buckling response of plate structures made either of steel or fibre-reinforced composite materials such as CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics). As the research activity developed, supporting experimental investigations started to be undertaken and a wider range of structural elements and structures began to be investigated. In recent years a significant proportion of the research activity has been devoted to structures and components fabricated from pultruded GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastics) materials. The following research investigations have been initiated and/or completed during the period, 2 001-2007:-

Steel Structures

In order to improve the structural efficiency of circular plate structures, such as end closures to cylindrical pressure vessels, a variety of measures may be adopted. Extensive checking of the theory has been undertaken which included correlations with data derived from small scale tests on stiffened circular steel plates. The computer software developed as part of the project has been used to conduct a variety of parametric studies, the results of which are potentially useful for the preliminary design of stiffened circular/annular plates .More...

Structural Analysis

The group works on a number of numerical analysis techniques for structural analysis. For example, the number of iterations until convergence of a powerful iterative numerical technique for the linear and nonlinear analysis of one, two and three-dimensional structures has been reduced by between 40% and 95% by optimizing the time step used.

A new physically based analysis, known as LO (Layer-wise Optimisation), has been developed for determining stacking sequences which maximize the buckling loads of symmetrically laminated plates. Compared to a conventional trial-and-error optimization approach LO reduces the computations for solution convergence by about 99%.

Fibre-Reinforced Composite Structures

An extensive range of work has been carried out on the mechanical properties of GRP and its use in engineering structures.


Smart Structures

Smart strucutres is a new area of research for the group and presently include fibre optic strain and vibration analysis of structures and laminated elements