Material and structural response at high strain rate

Understanding structural behaviours from material behaviours at multiple scales.

Impact and blast dynamics

Impact and blast are extreme loads involving high pressure, temperature and strain-rate. Material and structural responses to impact and blast loads are very different from their responses to normal static and dynamic loads.

Our research in this area covers low- to hyper-velocity impact (i.e. 100-104 m/s) and blast due to explosion or detonation of energetic materials to develop a better understanding of structural crashworthiness, penetration and ballistic mechanics and protective technology, which have wide applications in sports, transportation, aerospace, nuclear, marine, defence and security engineering sectors. Modelling and simulation has become an increasingly important tool for the study of these extreme loading phenomena and the improvement of the structural design to increase their safety and survivability.

Material characterisation at high strain-rate

We have developed reliable method to test mechanical properties of various engineering materials; metallic, concrete, polymeric, cellular, etc. at wide range of strain-rates up to 104 1/s under demanding environments. Our pioneering work on the test of concrete-like materials at high strain-rate based on SHPB has lead to an overhaul of the interpretation of SHPB testing data for concrete-like materials. We have extensive experience on the development of dynamic constitutive/strength models and the characterisation of material parameters in established material models. The reliability of the model is guaranteed by the verification & validation, V&V procedure.

Structural response to impact and blast loads

We have a portfolio of researches on structural response to impact and blast loads based on numerical modelling and scaled model test both in laboratory and in the testing field. These range from bus crush at low impact velocity to shaped charge jet penetration at hyper-velocity. We have intensively studied the blast attenuation and ballistic resistance of cellular materials for the development of engineered protective materials. We have also contributed to penetration mechanics with some results used in the validation of R3-Impact Assessment Procedures for nuclear industry.

Multi-scale modeling of cellular and heterogeneous material behaviours

We have developed expertise on multi-scale modelling of cellular and heterogamous materials based on micro-CT image reconstruction and finite element method and other computational tools. This allows the investigation of meso-scale mechanisms and their effects on material behaviours at macroscopic scale. The challenge is to characterise meso-scale mechanical properties and increase the computational efficiency.

Academic Staff: Dr Qingming Li

Please contact one of the academic staff for further details of current research activity.

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