STRUCTURES 2025: A HIGH FIDELITY, DATA RICH, PARADIGM FOR STRUCTURAL TESTING

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment

Abstract

The overarching aim is to develop a facility for the testing and evaluating of large structures, called Structure 2025. To construct such a facility it is necessary to purchase specialist equipment, which comprises imaging, loading and control systems. Structures 2025 will provide a novel integrated imaging and loading system that is flexible, and can be used for the testing and assessment of a wide range of structures across industry sectors. The unique feature of Structures 2025 is that it will, for the first time, enable data-rich studies of the behaviour of large components and structures subjected to realistic loading scenarios mimicking the behaviour of a structure in service. It will be possible to model the loads felt by aircraft in flight, railway structures, bridges and cars and understand better how the structure supports the load experienced in service. Structures 2025 will enable the introduction of new lightweight materials into transport systems allowing energy savings and a more sustainable approach to design. The uniqueness of Structures 2025 is predicated on imaging, where large amounts of data can be collected to provide information about the structural response. The imaging will be based on both visible light and infra-red camera systems which capture data from the loaded structure and used to evaluate strains and deformations. Traditional sensors take only point readings, whereas images provide data over a wide field of view, since each sensor in the imaging device provides a measurement, the terminology 'data-rich' is applied. A complete system integration will be developed and implemented, that combines the load application using a multi-actuator loading system with the imaging systems. The combination of techniques into a single integrated system will be unique internationally, and will enable the accurate assessment of the interactions between material failure mechanisms/modes and structural stiffness/strength driven failure modes on a hitherto unattainable level of physical realism. Structures 2025 will provide what can be termed high-fidelity data-rich testing of structural components, to integrate with multi-scale computational modelling to provide better predicitive models of structural failure and create safer and more efficient structures.

Structures 2025 will be developed in close collaboration with 16 industry partners, representing the rail infrastructure, civil engineering, experimental technique development, energy systems, marine and offshore, and aerospace sectors, as well as several university partners.

Planned Impact

The realisation of Structures 2025 will boost innovation and technology development across industrial sectors, where structural design practices generally are restricted by conservative conventions. Structures 2025 will unlock barriers to innovation, which will provide a technological leap in design and benefit strongly the industrial project partners. This in turn can be directly transferred into economic impact through added value and innovative products, shorter time to market, increased reliability and customer satisfaction.
The Structures 2025 facility relevant across industry and application areas as evidenced by the industrial support and partnership. This is because it has the potential to achieve a paradigm shift in the assessment and understanding of limit states, damage initiation/ progression and failure of large structures. The core novelty is achieved by integrating structural testing with high resolution full-field imaging. This will enable substantial advances in the understanding of the failure processes in materials, and the performance and failure envelopes of composite components and substructures, resulting in novel design methodologies.
It is envisaged that the developed high fidelity testing methodology will become part a mainstream part of structural testing, and with a view to the future a key enabler for a move towards 'virtual testing' becoming a reality as is the long terms goal in industry sectors like e.g. aerospace and automitive. The interaction with and dissemination to the industrial partners and end users will represent an important path for impact and exploitation. It is intended to develop research and technology projects using Structures 2025 through, e.g. Innovate UK, with the industrial collaborators taking the lead. It is envisaged that within 2 years of the project start date a working demonstrator will be available to showcase. This will put the UK into an important economic position with a developed, paradigm shifting technology for testing of large structures thereby improving UK competitiveness. It is intended to showcase the UK developed technology, through a dissemination meeting and on the international stage at conferences and other events.
 
Description The achievements so far comprise a detailed design specification for a fully instrumented large structural scale test - this includes the procurement of a suitable controller for servo-hydraulic actuators and the design and manufacture of test rigs.
Exploitation Route This can be used to inform a wide range of test design specifically in component certification.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Construction,Energy,Transport

 
Description Certification for Design - Reshaping the Testing Pyramid
Amount £6,924,663 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S017038/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2019 
End 07/2024
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation Airbus Group
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation Arup Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation BAE Systems
Department BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation BMT Defence Services
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation EDF Energy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation Lloyd's Register
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation NPL Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation National Composites Centre (NCC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation Qinetiq
Department QinetiQ (Farnborough)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation Siemens AG
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation University of Bath
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Setting up of an Industrial Advisory board, arranging meetings and formulating inputs to the demonstrators for Structures 2025
Collaborator Contribution Providing technical advise and direction to the project through the Industrial Advisory Board and other interactions
Impact None as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Studentship 
Organisation BAE Systems
Department BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Supervision of a student
Collaborator Contribution Support for a student conducting work that will provide demonstrators for the facility
Impact None directly related to the project
Start Year 2017
 
Description Bristol Composites Institute Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation entitled "Developments in Imaging Approaches for Composite Structures"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Industrial Advisory Board Meeting NPL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Developing the technology demonstrators for the project and seeking advice on the project direction
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at Roedean Girls School Brighton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A presentation to celebrate International Woman's day 2020 entitled "Engineering the future with images"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Seminar at University of Surrey 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation entitled "INFRARED THERMOGRAPHY APPROACHES FOR QUANTITATIVE FATIGUE AND FRACTURE STUDIES IN METALS AND COMPOSITES"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Structures 2025 Industrial Advisory Board 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The event took place at Airbus Wing Integration Centre (AWIC) and was chaired by the Structures 2025 Chairman Richard Burguete from NPL and supported by Steve Raynes and Paul Richardson from Airbus. The Industrial Advisory Board was given an overview of AWIC and an update on the project and procurement - there was an overview of the actions and outcome of the previous meeting plus 3 minute pitches of ongoing mini demonstrators from PhD students supporting the project. There was an introduction to test specification for demonstrators and a tour of the site.
The highlight of the meeting was a breakout and reporting session on the definition of new large scale demonstrators, which has lead to the detailed design of a demonstrator for the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Structures 2025 Kick-Off meeting EP/R008787/1 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The purpose of the meeting was to update on progress and garner ideas for the project from industry. For that reason we allocated two sessions for partner visions where contributed with a two slide 5 minute presentation of what they thought the project deliver. We were particularly interested in ideas for demonstrator projects, where issues of concern can be shared and cross-sectoral challenges in structural design can be identified.
We also provided an opportunity to visit our new facility, whist still under construction, to give an impression of the scale of activity envisaged in the new National Infrastructure Laboratory and where Structures 2025 will be housed. AGENDA for Structures 2025 kick off meeting:
University of Southampton, Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Building 176, Room 2013
1000 Coffee, welcome and round table introductions
1030 Project overview, status and timeline - Professor Janice Barton (PI)
1100 Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) structure - Professor Richard Burguete (Chair of the IAB)
1130 Partner visions/discussion - chair Professor Ole Thomsen (CoI)
1215 Lunch/tours of new build including new strong floor site
1345 Partner visions/discussion - chair Dr Stephen Boyd (CoI)
1445 Refreshments and wrap-up discussions
1530 -1630 Tours of Laboratory facilities at Highfield: Testing and Structures Lab, X-ray CT, Heavy Structures Lab
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018