The Research Line Machine and Vehicle Design is connected to Italian scientific research area ING-IND/14 “Progettazione Meccanica e Costruzione di Macchine”.
In this context, the capabilities of the group concern advanced methodologies for the design and verification of machine elements, structural components and mechanical systems with application on different platforms (transport, aeronautics, energy, defence, health).
The research activities developed by the members of the group, through collaborations with national and foreign companies / universities / research canters, are mainly aimed at:
- computational and experimental approaches aimed at determining the stress/strain state of the components;
- advanced methodologies for the assessment of structural integrity based on the modelling of mechanical behaviour in service (fatigue, wear, creep,...);
- innovative technologies for structural health monitoring and prognostics;
- testing and optimization of vehicles and their components;
- eco-friendly design with innovative materials and “green design”.
The research topics are carried out in synergy with teaching activities through the participation of students in experimental and design laboratories, integrated in the courses offered by the section, and in theses developed in the context of collaborations with industrial partners and participation in European collaborative research programs.
In particular, the topics developed allow to define innovative approaches for the optimal design of materials, components and complex systems based on continuum mechanics and on the multi-physical description of phenomena. These approaches are based on the integrated concept of product and process (from an Industry 4.0 perspective) with virtualization supported by specific experimentation. The applications concern vehicles (lightweight construction, integration of active and passive systems) and, more generally, mechanical, energy production and transport systems. The research group is also active in the research and development of new materials, inspired by natural structural materials, with the aim of obtaining improved mechanical properties.
With reference to the damage assessment of components and structures, the research group has developed capabilities in the assessment of damage in the presence of defects, with low-cycle fatigue and high-cycle fatigue methodologies, also exploiting methods based on digital image correlation. In addition, multi-scale analyses are used to evaluate the fatigue behaviour of components made through additive manufacturing. A research line is also active on methods for the structural assessment under extreme loading situations (ballistic impact, explosions,...).
Regarding the mechanical behaviour of materials, studies are carried out on biological or bio-inspired materials, in particular bone material to analyse the phenomenon of its fragility. A research line is also active on the topic of surface engineering; the effect of impact techniques and dynamic coating (cold spray) is evaluated to induce surface changes on structural materials with applications in the biomedical sector (improvement of biocompatibility) and in the mechanical / aeronautical sector with particular attention to components obtained through additive processes manufacturing.
Modelling activities are complemented by several experimental activities that include the development of innovative test methodologies for materials, components and systems, structural health monitoring obtained through integrated sensors, non-destructive methods and model based methodologies. Through these methods it is possible to evaluate the residual life of the component through widespread sensors network and big data analytics.
The Research Line of Machine and Vehicle Design is at the second floor of B22 bulding (former PPG), via La Masa 34.