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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P017061/1
Title: UKCRIC National Centre for Infrastructure Materials - Extreme Loading Facilities
Principal Investigator: Wang, Professor Y
Other Investigators:
Li, Professor Q
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Eng
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 31 March 2022 Value (£): 3,060,136
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Extreme loading such as fire, impacts, and explosions are common threats to civil infrastructure. Exposure of critical infrastructure, such as major public buildings, tunnels, hospitals, oil refineries, petrochemical plants, transport hubs, power generation and transmission systems, etc., to such extreme loading conditions can lead to disastrous failures of these civil infrastructure systems resulting in major human and economic losses and potentially social and political disruption. With increasing infrastructure connectivity and rising likelihoods of extreme events, these risks increase continuously. Reliable data of material performance under extreme loading conditions are necessary to ensure design and construction of resilient critical infrastructure systems. We propose to establish the following testing facilities to generate infrastructure material performance data that cannot be obtained using existing facilities anywhere else in the world:

- High temperature multi-axial loading facility (HTMDF): the only existing multi-axial loading facility that is capable of elevated temperature testing can only operate at temperatures lower than 300C, much less than temperatures experienced by infrastructure materials under fire conditions.

- High temperature, high strain-rate and high pressure testing facility (H3TF) and diagnostic system for material performance under combined fire, impact and explosion loads for realistic infrastructure materials.

The main research themes to be undertaken using these new facilities are:

- Mechanical properties (stress-strain relationships, failure surfaces) of full-scale materials under multi-axial loading at high temperatures.

- Mechanical properties of full-scale materials under combined high strain-rate and high temperature, and a wide range of stress states (e.g. uniaxial tension, uniaxial compression, plane stress, confined pressure).

- Multi-scale, multi-dimensional, multi-hazard characterization of mechanical properties of infrastructure materials. The new facilities will provide indispensable data for validation of numerical models.

The proposed facilities will be part of the National Centre of Infrastructure Materials (NCIM), aimed at improving whole-life infrastructure material performance and developing innovative materials to reduce material use, monetary and energy (carbon) costs and maintenance. NCIM will incorporate advanced laboratory equipment spread across a number of UK institutions for producing, processing, exposing, imaging, analysing and testing materials used across the whole range of infrastructure assets. NCIM will offer access to cutting edge facilities spanning the entire lifetime of infrastructure materials, from manufacture and processing, through in-life performance, to the end of life (including catastrophic failure under different extreme loading conditions). The new material behaviour phenomena and data under multi-axial loading at high temperatures and under combined high strain-rate, high temperature and high pressure conditions will be invaluable to multi-scale, multi-hazard, multi-dimensional material modelling.

The new facilities will generate data under more realistic extreme loading conditions. The new data will enhance the quality of the design and construction of critical infrastructure under extreme loading conditions. The enhanced understanding of material performance under extreme loading conditions could lead to the development of new and advanced materials, possibly in silico, with improved behaviour for secure and resilient critical civil infrastructures.

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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk