This project involves the use of advanced computational modelling to simulate steel structures subjected to blast, as well as experimental testing of steel connections subjected to extreme dynamic loading. These tests will simulate the conditions encountered by connections in buildings subjected to blast and these will help you to assess the accuracy of your computational modelling. The project can be split into two separate work packages:
Work package 1: Assessment of moment resisting joints subjected to dynamic loading. You will use rate dependent springs embedded in component-based joint models to understand and predict the performance of moment connections in steel frames subjected to dynamic loading. This will allow strain rate hardening, as well as strain rate induced reductions in ductility to be included in joint models for inclusion in subsequent frame analyses. You will also carry out experimental tests of moment connections under static and dynamic conditions at Sheffield University. The joints will be tested under the combined effects of tensile load and rotation in order to simulate the complex conditions experienced by joints during blast and collapse conditions.
Work package 2: Assessment of structural frames subjected to dynamic loading. A review of expeditionary framed structures will be carried out to (a) identify the typology of existing expeditionary framed structures; and (b) identify the extremely loading conditions to which they may be subjected. The rate dependent component models developed in WP1 will be incorporated directly into sub-frame models for a limited selection of these existing expeditionary framed structures. These frames will be subjected to either: (a) localised damage, or (b) blast loading. The frames will be reanalysed using simple partial strength joints, as well as moment resisting joints and the robustness of the frames contrasted. The effects on robustness of different connection types will be assessed and conclusions drawn with regards to the development of design recommendations for future expeditionary framed structures.
This is a technically exciting project involving state of the art experimental testing and computational modelling. This project will suit you if your eventual aim is to become a technical expert in structural engineering, protective design engineering or engineering for the oil/gas industries, in which blast loading is an important design concern.
If you would like to send your CV directly to the supervisor or if you would like more information, contact Dr Mike Byfield, email@example.com, 02380 597664.