Modelling and characterization of materials and manufacturing processes

Bullet Thermomachanical processing, thermal treatments and material behaviour at elevated temperatures.

Design of process sequences and optimization of hot working 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, state of the art models (for process and material) 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 (flat and long products, forging parts, direct rolling ,...), heat treatments and composition optimization.

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

  • taylored design of steels with improved properties (antagonistic properties, in-service behavior in harsh environments,...).

  • fast adaptation of the technology to new production routes.

Bullet Optimal mechanical design of machines and components

Design, analysis and theoretical and experimental evaluation of machines and components, adding value from the conception of the idea 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 Life assessment and mechanical reliability

Experimental characterisation and modelling of fracture and fatigue (and creep-fatigue) under complex mechanical and thermal loading, including residual stresses. Design of experiments for early crack detection and testing of components. Analytical and finite element based models (cohesive models, XFEM and in-house developed software) to estimate the remaining life of components and to establish strategies for predictive maintenance and decision-making.

Bullet Design of ceramic materials for extreme applications (HARSH environments): combustion, condensing boilers, electric furnaces, etc.

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