Ceit-IK4's Design and Mechanical Assessment Group is a multidisciplinary group that combines mechanics, materials engineering and computation. It specializes in three main areas:
- Design, analysis and theoretical and experimental evaluation of machines and components, providing value from idea conception and through the manufacturing process, and all stages in between: calculating, dynamic analyses, redesign, detailed design, and even building test benches when needed.
- Optimization of the hot and cold forming of materials (rolling, forging, HIP, etc.) by combining experimental techniques with simulation via the finite element method (FEM) and designing the most appropriate tools.
- Structural integrity and the prediction of component life as a function of service conditions, which relates mechanical properties and microstructure and involves the development of specific experimental techniques in order to evaluate structural integrity and determine failure mechanisms.
- Characterization of equipment and processes: estimation of characteristic parameters from theoretical models and experimental measurements. Rotordynamics. Structural transmission of noise and vibration.
- Mechanical design: design of flexible mechanisms (flexures) for couplings and robotic manipulators. Machinery design. Thermomechanical design of refrigeration systems.
- Material forming models: the group has developed its own models for forging and hot and cold forming processes based on finite element techniques and advanced constitutive equations.
- Distortion modeling in powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing: the group has developed in-house tools for modeling distortions in pieces manufactured from metal powders.
- Optimization of tooling and die design in near-net-shape processes.
- Analysis and modeling of fracture, fatigue, thermomechanical fatigue and life prediction in complex load and high temperature conditions. Running experiments, monitoring for early crack detection and component testing.
- Micromechanical testing to characterize thin films and coatings, interfaces, steels (various phases, inclusions, carbides), modified surfaces (burning, white layers, surface treatments, etc.). In-house technology for measuring residual stresses on a wide range of scales (0.1 µm – 100 mm).
The group uses both commercial software packages as well as in-house software to tackle the various research lines.
- ABAQUS: Finite element simulation.
- MATLAB/SIMULINK/SIMSCAPE: Multi-physical simulation.
- ANSYS-FLUENT: CFD simulation.
- SIMPACK: Multibody simulation (MBS).
- CREO, Windchill, SolidWorks, Solid Edge: CAD/CAM and project management software (PLM).
- LABVIEW: design, measurement and control of experiments.
- LMS Test.Xpress: noise and vibration analysis.
- LMS Test.Lab: modal analysis.
In addition, the group has computing systems capable of covering the computing power required for simulations.
The group is equipped with standard mechanical testing devices as well as some unique technologies such as:
- High-speed (up to 14 m/s) and high-temperature tensile deformation.
- Test machine for low-cycle biaxial fatigue (traction/compression, torsion, ±10 kN, ±100 N·m).
- Test machine for high-temperature low-cycle fatigue at very high loads (±250 kN).
- Nanoindentation and nanoscratching.
- High-load (up to 120 kN) and low-frequency (up to 10 Hz) testing equipment.
- Low-load (up to 20 kN) and high-frequency (up to 400 Hz) testing equipment.
- Bench with multipurpose hydraulic actuator (up to 30 Hz and 25 kN).
- Measurement of elastic modulus and thermal conductivity as a function of temperature.
In addition, Ceit-IK4 has optical and electronic microscopes (SEM, FEG-SEM, TEM, EBSD, EDS, etc.) for microstructural characterizing, FIB-FSEM for micro-/nano-machining, and X-ray diffraction equipment for measuring residual stresses and textures.
Other equipment that we use in our experimental work:
- Displacement sensors: potentiometers and LVDTs for different measurement ranges.
- Accelerometers: piezoelectric, MEMS, piezoresistive, uniaxial, triaxial, etc.
- Other: pressure sensors, inclinometers, gyroscopes, extensometers, etc.
- Microphones, sound level meters, etc.
- Accelerometers. Various acceleration and broadband frequency ranges.
- Force transducers.
- Impact hammers with integrated force transducers.
- Shakers and exciters.
- Data acquisition system: LMS SCADAS Mobile. 16 input channels and 2 output channels.
- Pyrometers, thermographic cameras, etc.