Flexible Multibody Mechanics
Nonlinear analysis associated with flexible multibody mechanics has become a central field of the research group. The aim of this research is to develop theoretical and computational tools for solving highly non-linear multibody problems using the finite element method for the discretization of the field equations. An important aspect in the theoretical developments of this field is the theory of manifolds and its application in formulations of multibody mechanics problems. The developed methods and tools can be effectively used in practical applications, such as simulation of the movements of a telescopic boom, occurring in the field of mechanical engineering.
Material modeling is a central research topic in the group. Especially, constitutive modeling of brittle materials, such as concrete and rock, based on continuum damage mechanics and visco-plasticity theory has been under study. An important aspect is the loading rate dependency of these materials under dynamic loading. The rate dependency of these materials necessitates laboratory experiments which are performed in collaboration with the Department of Material Sciences at TUT.
A practical application of the brittle materials modeling is the numerical simulation of rock fracture in percussive drilling. The aim is to develop a numerical tool for effective and realistic simulation of fracturing and fragmenting rock material in dynamic bit-rock interaction. Moreover, modeling of highly ductile materials, such as polymers and rubber, allowing for finite strains is the newest research branch in the group. The material models of these materials have applications, e.g., in automotive industry and plastic consumer products.
Structural optimization has been one of the key research areas of the group since 1980?s. The subject has been covered broadly. For example, optimization of cross-sections, the orientation of fibers in laminated composites as well as shape and topology optimization has been considered. Nowadays the optimization research is directed towards layout optimization of truss and frame structures meeting the demands of design codes such as Eurocode, and surrogate models including response surface methods and the Kriging method.