Computational Mechanics

The focus of the “Computational Mechanics and Advanced Materials” group is on all the main aspects of numerical modeling with a particular emphasis on the finite element method. Using the most advanced techniques of computational mechanics, this Research Section carries out both theoretical and numerical studies in different fields: structural, mechanics, and biomedical.

Specifically, the activities can be classified in three different main areas:

  • Materials;
  • Structural mechanics;
  • Innovative numerical methods.

Materials field

  • Development and analysis of constitutive laws for traditional (steels, concretes, masonry, foams) and advanced (shape memory alloys, ferromagnetic shape memory alloys, biological materials, geopolymers…) materials. In particular, it is approached the problem of a constitutive modeling of a shape memory alloy, consistent from a thermo-dynamic point of view, and also able to catch all the main macroscopic effects of such materials.
  • Calibration of theoretical and numerical models of the constitutive laws, starting from mechanical tests carried out both with the equipment available to the group (e.g., MTS Insight Testing Systems 10 kN) and with the equipment available at DICAr and Eucentre.
  • Analysis and development of mechanical, biomedical and structural devices which exploit innovative materials. In particular, the group is active both in the numerical analysis of devices and in their prototyping, carried out also thanks to the 3D printing device supplied to the group (High Resolution Object 30Pro 3D printer).

Structural mechanics field

  • Development and analysis of Mixed and Enhanced-Mixed Finite Elements for compressible, quasi compressible and incompressible materials, both in case of small and large deformations. In particular, the activities deal with the numerical determination of physical instabilities for incompressible non-linear problems and with the development of Finite Elements able to catch efficiently such instabilities.
  • Development and analysis of Beam Finite Elements, in small and large deformation. In particular, non-linear beam elements and suitable numerical techniques for the determination of strongly non-linear structural responses and for the analysis of bifurcation, snap-through and snap-back problems are studied.
  • Analysis of complex structures and devices using both commercial software (e.g, ABAQUS, ANSYS) and research software (e.g., FEAP). For this purpose, the group manages a powerful calculus server, with more than 170 cores and uses the calculus instruments provided by CINECA.

Innovative numerical techniques field

  • Development and analysis of meshless methods or collocation techniques, deriving from classical SPH methods or from Isogeometric Analysis, for the study of structural problems. In particular, the goal is the study of numerical techniques for the analysis of fast dynamics and impact problems, with particular reference to explosion simulation.
  • Development and analysis of “isogeometric methods”, i.e., isoparametric, exact geometry, Galerkin approaches based on typical CAD functions, such as Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines (NURBS), with applications in several fields of engineering ranging from the mechanics of solids, structures, and fluids to wave propagation and biomechanics problems.
  • Analysis of fluid-structure interaction problems with the immersed boundary approach.
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