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Home > Research topics

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Last updated: 6 February, 2014

The research activities of the Mechanics of Materials and Structures group are situated in the following domains:

  • impact (bird strike, drop weight, wave impact, blast, pneumatic launcher)

  • fatigue (tension, compression, shear, 3- and 4-point bending)

  • NDT/NDE (optical fibre sensors, ultrasound, moire, electrical resistance)

  • general mechanics of composite materials (damage, durability, self-healing,...)

Below you can find our current research topics on composites in a single, quick glance. They are grouped in three categories:

Much more information can be found in our research brochure.

Research projects top

[1] E-BREAK - Engine Breakthrough Components and Subsystems
European 7th Framework Programme (FP7) project 2012-2016
(in collaboration with Turbomeca, Rolls-Royce, Snecma, Techspace Aero, Volvo Aero Corporation, Alstom,...)

[2] eSHM - Effective structural health monitoring with additive manufacturing
Strategic research project 2012-2015 (regional funding by IWT-SBO)
(in collaboration with KULeuven, VUB, Sirris, VITO, Cenaero)

[3] Integrated analysis and experimental verification of Kinematic Form Active Structures (KFAS) for architectural applications
Fundamental research project 2012-2015 (regional funding by FWO)
(in collaboration with VUB)

[4] Flansea - Flanders electricity from the sea
Industrial research project 2010-2012 (regional funding by IWT-O&O)
(in collaboration with UGent partners, DEME, Kloostermans, Spiromatic,...)

[5] Localized stiffness identification method for layered composite materials based on inverse modeling of a coupled acoustic-structural three-dimensional finite element model and high resolution ultrasound optical measurements
Postdoctoral research grant 2011-2014 (funding by Ghent University)

[6] A roadmap to adhesive bonding
Collective research project 2010-2012 (regional funding by IWT)
(in collaboration with Flanders Drive, VUB, OCAS,...)

[7] Investigation into the technical characteristics and industrial applications of steel fibre-reinforced composites
Industrial research project 2011-2014 (regional funding by IWT-O&O)
(in collaboration with Bekaert and KULeuven)

[8] Mechanical characterization of steel fibre-reinforced composites
Bilateral research project 2011-2012
(in collaboration with Bekaert)

[9] Fatigue life prediction of random fiber composites using hybrid multiscale modeling methods (COMPFAT)
Research grant 2011-2015 (regional funding by IWT-Baekeland)
(in collaboration with LMS and KULeuven)

[10] Experimental and numerical study of the mechanical response of large glass facades subject to blast loading
Fundamental research project 2011-2015 (funding by Ghent University)
(in collaboration with Royal Military Academy)

[11] SMARTFIBER - Miniaturised Structural Monitoring System with Autonomous Readout Micro-Technology and Fiber sensor network
European 7th Framework Programme (FP7) project 2010-2013
(in collaboration with IMEC, FBGS Technologies, Airborne Technology Centre, Xenics,...)

[12] 3DLightTrans - Large scale manufacturing technology for high performance lightweight 3D multifunctional composites
European 7th Framework Programme (FP7) project 2010-2013
(in collaboration with AIT, Fiat, Federal Mogul, TU Dresden, Van de Wiele, Onera, Bentley,...)

[13] NANOFORCE - Next generation nano-engineered Polymer-Steel/CNT Hybrids
SIM project - Strategic Initiative Materials 2010-2014 (regional funding)
(in collaboration with KULeuven, VUB, Bekaert,...)

[14] SHE - Engineered Self-Healing Materials
SIM project - Strategic Initiative Materials 2010-2014 (regional funding)
(in collaboration with VUB, Recticel,...)

[15] Small Wind Turbine Field Laboratory
Hercules medium sized research infrastructure Type 1 (regional funding)
(in collaboration with UGent and HoGent research groups)

[16] A new principle of wave energy converter
IOF StarTT development project for strengthening IP portfolio (university funding)
(in collaboration with UGent research groups)

[17] Experimental measurement of the mechanical behaviour of composite materials and hybrid materials subject to different types of impact loading
Fundamental research grant 2010 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)

[18] Characterization of the fatigue behaviour of fibre-reinforced plastics through accelerated fatigue tests of composite beams and plates with electromagnetic shakers
Fundamental research project 2010-2013 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)
(in collaboration with the Department Mechanics of Materials and Constructions (MeMC) (Free University of Brussels))

[19] Development of a composite bicycle racing frame with a increased confort by optimal use of flax fibre reinforcement
Industrial research project 2009-2011 (regional funding by IWT)
(in collaboration with the company Museeuw Bikes)

[20] Experimental and numerical study of the slamming wave impact on deformable composite structures
Fundamental research project 2009-2012 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)
(in collaboration with the Department of Heat, Combustion and Fluid Mechanics (Ghent University) and the Acoustics and Vibration Research Group (Free University of Brussels))

[21] Sensing and morphing of composite laminates with piezoelectric transducers
Fundamental research project 2007-2009 (funding by China Scholarship Council)

[22] Monitoring deformation and degradation in thermoplastic composite materials with draw tower Bragg grating optical fibre sensors
Applied research project 2007-2010 (industrial funding)

[23] Speckle metrology techniques for contactless full-field measurement of in-plane and out-of-plane deformations of composite plates under static and dynamic loading conditions
Collaborative research project 2006-2008 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)
(in collaboration with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

[24] Development of a "stacked" solid-like shell element for the simulation of damage in large composite structures under dynamic loading conditions
Fundamental research project 2007-2010 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)
(in collaboration with the research group Mechanics of Materials, Fluids and Structures (MS2F) (Universite de Liege))

[25] The energy absorption assessment of composite structures for protection of civil engineering structures against blast loading
Fundamental research project 2007-2010 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)
(in collaboration with the research group Mechanics of Materials and Constructions (MeMC) (Free University of Brussels) and the Royal Military Academy)

[26] Experimental and numerical study of impact on window glass (retro)fitted with safety film
Applied research project 2006-2010 (industrial funding)

[27] High speed digital camera with high framerate and resolution for digital registration of highly dynamic phenomena
Research infrastructure 2006 (funding by Ghent University)

[28] Experimental testing and numerical simulation of wear and damage in filament wound composite bearings
Fundamental research project 2007-2010 (funding by Ghent University)
(in collaboration with the research group Tribology and Fatigue (Ghent University))

[29] Micro-meso-macro homogenization of the fatigue degradation of textile reinforced composites
Fundamental research project 2006-2009 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)
(in collaboration with the department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering (KULeuven))

[30] Experimental and theoretical study of the damage behaviour of fibre-reinforced composite systems under biaxial fatigue loading
Fundamental research project 2006-2009 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)
(in collaboration with the research group Mechanics of Materials and Constructions (MeMC) (Free University of Brussels)

[31] Modelling the fatigue behaviour of impact-damaged composites
Fundamental research project 2006-2008 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)

[32] Sustainable Economically Efficient Wave Energy Converter (SEEWEC)
Applied research project 2006-2008 (European funding by FP6)

[33] Multi-Axial Stress and Strain sensing of thermo hardened composite elements using Fibre Optic Sensors (MASSFOS)
Applied research project 2006-2008 (funding by European Space Agency (ESA))

[34] OPTIcal MEasurement techniques for Structures and Systems (OPTIMESS)
Scientific research network 2009-2013 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)

[35] Mechanical and tribochemical energy dissipation process in structural composites applied for complex rolling-sliding contact conditions: on-line analysis by means of computer vision and material response on meso-scale
Fundamental research project 2008-2011 (regional funding by FWO-Vlaanderen)
(in collaboration with the research group Tribology and Fatigue (Ghent University), the research group Image Processing and Interpretation (Ghent University) and the department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering (KULeuven))

Postdoctoral and doctoral researchers top

[1] Localized stiffness identification method for layered composite materials based on inverse modeling of a coupled acoustic-structural three-dimensional finite element model and high resolution ultrasound optical measurements
Lamkanfi, E. (postdoctoral fellow, 2011-...)

[2] Nano-micro simulation of the mechanical behaviour of nano-engineered steel fibre-reinforced composites
Rezaei, A. (postdoctoral fellow, 2011-...)

[3] Integration of optical fibre sensors in composite structures for in-service monitoring
Luyckx, G. (postdoctoral fellow, 2009-...)

[4] Experimental and numerical study of the dynamic behaviour of fusion bonded joints in fibre-reinforced thermoplastics
De Baere, I. (postdoctoral fellow, 2009-...)

[5] Numerical simulation of the post-failure response of large glass facades under blast loading
Pelfrene, J. (2012-...)

[6] Fatigue crack growth simulation of aerospace metals produced with additive manufacturing techniques
Vafadari, R. (2012-...)

[7] Mechanical characterization of steel fibre-reinforced composites
Allaer, K. (2011-...)

[8] Experimental and numerical study of the fatigue behaviour of steel fibre-reinforced composites
Haldar, A. (2011-...)

[9] Structural behaviour of steel fibre-reinforced composites
Mortier, F. (2011-...)

[10] Experimental and numerical investigation of the blast response of large glass facades
Van Dam, S. (2011-...)

[11] Meso-macro modelling of the mechanical behaviour of steel fibre-reinforced composites
Faes, J. (2011-...)

[12] Numerical modelling of self-healing of polymers and cementitious materials
Agrawal, A. (2011-...)

[13] Accelerated fatigue testing of fibre-reinforced composites with electromagnetic shakers
Kersemans, M. (2010-...)

[14] Effect of flax fibre reinforcement on the dynamic and damping behaviour of composite racing bicycle frames
Vanwalleghem, J. (2010-...)

[15] Development of a Miniaturised Structural Monitoring System with Autonomous Readout Micro-Technology and Fiber sensor network
Lammens, N. (2010-...)

[16] Development of finite element strategies for global-local analysis of damage in large composite structures
Jacques, S. (2009-...)

[17] Experimental investigation of slamming wave impact on deformable composite structures
Van Nuffel, D. (2009-...)

[18] Numerical simulation of slamming wave impact on deformable composite structures based on fluid-structure interaction
Vepa, K.S. (2009-...)

[19] Development of advanced image correlation techniques and image processing algorithms for the measurement of displacement and strain fields in composites under static and (high)dynamic loading
Cofaru, C. (2007-2012)

[20] Damage modelling in large laminated composite structures
Rah, K. (2007-2012)

[21] Micro-meso-macro homogenization of the fatigue degradation of textile reinforced composites
Daggumati, S. (2007-2011)

[22] The energy absorption assessment of composite structures for protection of civil engineering structures against blast loading
Palanivelu, S. (2007-2011)

[23] Experimental testing and numerical simulation of wear in filament wound composite bearings
Rezaei, A. (2007-2011)

[24] Monitoring deformation and degradation in thermoplastic composite materials with draw tower Bragg grating optical fibre sensors
Voet, E. (2006-2011)

[25] Experimental and numerical study of impact on window glass (retro)fitted with safety film
De Pauw, S. (2006-2010)

[26] Study of damage behaviour of composite systems under biaxial fatigue loading
Lamkanfi, E. (2006-2010)

[27] Design of composite point absorbers for a Sustainable Economically Efficient Wave Energy Converter (SEEWEC)
Blommaert, C. (2005-2009)

[28] Integration of optical fibre sensors in engineering constructions for in-service monitoring
Luyckx, G. (2003-2009)

[29] Experimental and Theoretical Study of the Mechanical Behaviour of Fibre-reinforced Thermoplastics under Fatigue Loading Conditions
De Baere, I. (2004-2008)

Beside the researchers on composite materials, there are currently 7 other PhD students working in the field of dynamics of high-strength steels, bio-scaffolds, advanced materials for nuclear fusion reactors (ITER),...

Master theses (2012-2013) top

The list below shows the master theses for the academic year 2012-2013. Every company is invited to suggest master thesis topics for the engineering students (timing: before February 2013 for academic year 2013-2014) (contact person Wim VAN PAEPEGEM).

[1] Evaluation of the dynamic behaviour of composite racing bicycle frames by means of vibration tests and outdoor field testing
De Witte, T. and Mortier, F.

[2] Infrared welding of fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites
Allaer, K.

[3] Characterization of the static mechanical behaviour of a composite racing bicycle frame
Ghyssels, K. and Mulier, S.

[4] Experimental determination of the fatigue life of composite racing bicycle frames
Styns, S.

[5] Experimental comparison of the repeated wave impact on rigid and deformable composite structures
Geldof, J.

[6] New concepts of composite floating point absorbers for wave energy conversion
Jolie, M. and Vanderheggen, K.

[7] Investigation of the interlaminar behaviour of fibre-reinforced plastics with the mixed mode bending test
Opgenhaffen, H. and Thijs, L.

[8] Study of the fatigue behaviour of carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastics for aerospace and automotive applications
Van Biesen, S.

[9] Feasibility study of numerical models for simulation of the mechanical behaviour of wood on the cell-level
Faes, J.

[10] Simulation of impact of breaking waves on (deformable) composite structures
Pelfrene, J.

[11] Accelerated fatigue testing of fibre-reinforced composites with electromagnetic shakers
Chiesura, G.