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Research Group - Mechanical and Structural Performance

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Introduction

The Mechanical and Structural Performance group is concerned with the design, validation, analysis and inspection of advanced materials and structures. Its strong links to industry and the excellent facilities of the Cardiff University Structural Performance laboratory ensure research is both outstanding and of international relevance. The group’s activities span a range of industry sectors including aerospace, automotive, medical and civil structures.

Extensive research activities on the health monitoring and inspection of a wide variety of structures and systems, offer operators of high value assets the potential to increase usage, reduce maintenance costs and improve safety. Using passive and active acoustic techniques (acoustic emission and acousto-ultrasonics) our work aims to automate the detection of damage onset and to accurately locate and characterise defects. Through the development of energy harvesting and power management systems we aim to develop wireless and autonomous sensor networks. Our current areas of interest include advanced materials, aerospace structures and rotating machinery.

Process monitoring for quality control and management is also addressed by the group. Novel approaches utilising microcontrollers have been investigated and web based “e-monitoring” solutions have been developed to provide real-time monitoring and reduce data handling and storage requirements. The resulting solutions have been integrated into a wide range of applications which include; machine tools, pneumatic systems, robotics and continuous processes such as water filtration and energy systems.

In the automotive sector researchers are investigating the use of novel materials and the optimisation of geometry of small city cars to improve pedestrian survivability during road traffic accidents. In addition improvements in vehicle dynamics have been sought through the use of active damping and novel suspension dampers that use magneto rheological fluid to control damping behaviour have been developed.

Group Leader(s)

.  Prof K. M. Holford

Academic Staff

.  Dr L. F. Kawashita

Admissions Information

.  Postgraduate (Research) Admissions Tutor:  Prof S. L. Evans