Modeling and characterization of materials and manufacturing processes

Bullet Mechanical design of machines and components

Design, analysis and theoretical and experimental evaluation of machines and components, adding value from an idea's conception to the manufacturing process through calculation (resistance, fatigue), dynamic analysis (vibrations), redesign, design of detail, prototyping and even the construction of test benches when required. Specialization in machines with rotating elements.

Bullet Thermo-mechanical processing, thermal treatments and behavior of the material at elevated temperatures

Design of process sequences and optimization of hot forming processes and heat treatments that contribute to the production of more advanced steel products and in a more controlled and sustainable way through the application of metallurgical knowledge, compositional design, latest generation models (for processes and materials) and plant data. This line of research is key in many areas of semi or fully processed material production.

Examples of application include:

  • ​More robust process design and better product quality control.

  • Improving process sequences (hot rolling of flat and long products, forging parts, direct rolling, etc.), heat treatments and composition optimization.

  • Zero defect production (high temperature ductility, hot workability, etc.).

  • Custom designed steels with improved properties (antagonistic properties, operating behavior in harsh environments, etc.).

  • Fast adaptation of technology to new production routes.

Bullet Component life prediction based on mechanical mechanics

Experimental characterization and modeling of fractures and fatigue (and creep fatigue) under complex mechanical and thermal loads, including residual stresses. Design of experiments for early detection of cracks and component tests. Analytical models and models based on finite elements (cohesive models, XFEM and internally developed software) to estimate the remaining useful life of the components and establish strategies for predictive maintenance and decision-making.

Bullet Mathematical models of materials and simulation of cold forming processes

The trend in various industrial sectors (automotive, energy, construction, etc.) is to reduce the weight of components and the use of raw materials by using a higher-grade (more resistant) and thinner starting material.

Using these grades requires finer control over the forming process and a tighter process window to avoid problems in formability and/or tool breakage. We design the conformation process for these new grades based on previous experience and a methodology based on trial-and-error, which decreases prototyping costs, shortens delivery times and guarantees optimal processing conditions. We study robust computational tools that allow for accurate predictionof springback and formability phenomena in forming processes. This includes:

  • The construction of physics-based material models that accurately describes the elastic-plastic anisotropy of the starting material.

  • The construction of anisotropic damage models that allow the conformability of the material to be predicted.

  • The development of computational tools based on reverse engineering that enable specifically designed optimal shaping strategy and tooling design.

Bullet Micromechanical tests to characterize coatings, thin layers and mechanized or functionalized surfaces

Bullet Manufacturing processes included in clean room techniques