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Durability & Life Extension

Notwithstanding the modern “consumer society”, life assessment and extending the life of plant and machines are major concerns in many industries including aerospace, power generation, building, transport and offshore engineering. There is considerable demand for better predictive computational models to account for long term failure processes, particularly fatigue and fatigue life prediction, but also creep, fracture, corrosion, ageing and damage. A key issue here is how to model material behaviour to account for a wide range of behaviour, often non-linear, under different loadings and environmental conditions at a range of physical scales.

Examples include micro-scale damage models to describe the fracture processes in fibrereinforced composites, continuum mechanics analysis of creep damage, debonding in microelectronics packaging, simulation of weld behaviour, and macro scale models of the long-term creep of concrete. For many industries, durability and life extension issues are stimulating considerable interest in how to model ageing and deterioration effects e.g. embrittlement of metals due to radiation, creep of plastics and metals, effects of corrosion in reinforced concrete or deterioration of historical structures, build masonry or stone. Efforts in this area concentrate on improved understanding of these phenomena at the material level and on development of continuously enhanced deterioration models.

A further issue is how to treat the inevitable uncertainty that arises from the characterisation of such problems, for example using probabilistic or stochastic methods. Significant efforts are spent on data gathering and on development of sophisticated stochastic models for each deterioration phenomenon. This trend will inevitably continue as new materials will emerge, often with different deterioration characteristics and variabilities.

Project Reports

Summary of the Project Findings relating to Durability & Life Extension
(as presented at the project review meeting in Malta, May 2005) (PDF Format)

D3610 - State of the Art Review - Weld Simulation Using Finite Element Methods (PDF)
Dr Anas Yaghi and Professor Adib Becker University of Nottingham, UK

D3613 - Advanced Finite Element Contact Benchmarks (PDF)
A.W.A. Konter, Netherlands Institute for Metals Research


Project Workshops