Grant for research into using aerospace materials for architecture

**A consortium led by the University of Warwick has been awarded a £1.3 million grant to explore the durability of high-tech composite materials.**

The University of Warwick will lead a consortium of five other UK universities which has been awarded the £1.3 million grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Civil and structural engineers at the University will explore the durability of materials used in aerospace and automotive industries in an effort to discover their potential use for infrastructure and civil engineering works.

These composite materials have been commonly used in the mechanical engineering sectors because of their strength, rigidity and light weight. It is for these reasons that they are hoped to offer new and exciting possibilities for national infrastructure, particularly in bridges and low-rise buildings.

Before they can be used in such endeavours, engineers need be able to accurately predict how long into the future the structures will be fit for purpose once built.

The project, entitled ‘Providing Confidence in Durable Composites’, will carry out physical testing of composite materials, structural connections and joints, as well as developing computer modelling of their behaviour over decades.

Professor Toby Mottram of the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick said: “High-performance, light-weight composites have transformed sectors like automotive and aerospace and there is real potential that they could do the same for the UK’s national infrastructure.

“But as buildings and bridges have to be designed to last longer into the future than cars or aeroplanes, we need to understand exactly how their structural performance will change with age and to possible climate changes.”

With regards to how the grant will be utilised, Professor Mottram said: “The deliverables from this grant will help us to establish the durability of these materials and their structures, through a combination of collecting experimental data and advancing computer modelling.”

The University of Warwick is collaborating with the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, the University of Glasgow, the University of Leeds and Newcastle University on the project.

The grant is part of a total of £4.7 million awarded by EPSRC for ground and structural engineering projects.

EPSRC’s Chief Executive, Professor David Delpy commented on the importance of this research: “These grants will support vital underpinning research that will help the UK deliver major infrastructure projects and help us plan maintenance in the context of climate change.

“Likewise, developing new composites and self-healing materials will help us prolong the life and integrity of new buildings as well as enabling the retrofitting of older ones.”

Related Posts

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *