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Simulation versus Test

Linking Computational and Experimental Techniques in Industrial Applications

Simulation versus TestThis event, which was held at Ratcliffe Power Station, UK, followed a successful event on the same subject which was held a year ago. Once again it proved to be a popular and interesting event, attracting 73 delegates.

Tests are frequently used by analysts to help to demonstrate that their simulations agree with reality. During this seminar, a number of different industrial examples were presented which illustrated the benefits of using the two techniques in conjunction with one another, but which also highlighted many of the difficulties involved in obtaining – and being able to demonstrate – strong correlation between the results.

One interesting aspect of this meeting was to bring out the parallel issues associated with testing, including various sources of errors and the potential for significant variation in the results from apparently identical tests. It was poignant to note that test results are really just another approximation to real life.

Some of the difficulties in getting good correlation between simulation and test were also highlighted.

These included:

  • Having accurate material properties
  • Simulating the real test configuration
  • Difficulties for both simulation and test caused by the presence of singularities
  • Approximations in both methods
  • Obtaining accurate measurements of the true loads applied
  • Being able to interpret the test results fully

This event was organised in conjunction with the British Society for Strain Measurement ( ) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The organising committee also included representatives from E-on, the University of Southampton, Strainsense, Metec and DAMT.