Services for our industrial customers worldwide
The Metal Structures Centre is a solution provider in the energy market. Our services include technical support, failure investigation, research and development, co-engineering, finite element modelling, and materials’ testing.
All three involved partners have a long track record in their expertise. The Metal Structure Centre therefore guarantees its customers high-quality, innovative work, delivered by scientists and engineers who are internationally recognised in their fields.
Results are obtained in such a way so they can easily be up-scaled to industrial applications, thus accelerating the customer’s valorisation process.
What we can offer you
The MSC partners deliver a wide range of technical support and services.
Both for short tasks as well as long term projects. Depending on the customer’s request, the work programme can be fully specified by the customer, or jointly decided between MSC and the customer.
Examples of technical support are:
- Finite element simulations
- Materials characterisation
- Development and/or qualification of welding procedures
- Qualification of materials
- Development of testing systems
State-of-the-art facilities to carry out complex failure and skilled staff
There are often many possible reasons why engineering components fail in service and the cause and mechanisms of failure can only be determined with the right combination of analytical equipment and experienced engineers. MSC has both the state-of-the-art facilities to carry out complex failure investigations and skilled staff to interpret the results and offer the solutions to avoid failure in the future.
The MSC can measure mechanical properties of materials or welds in specific conditions: from standard laboratory-scale tests to custom made full-scale testing, at room temperature or at high or low temperature, cryogenic or specific environments. The next step is to validate weather the component is able to sustain the expected loads during its lifetime. Different equipment is available to handle such components and submit them to static or dynamic loads.
- On-site inspection and replica failure assessment
- Mechanical testing of materials
- Chemical analysis
- Hydrogen behaviour measurement
- Fracture mechanics
- Advanced metallography
MSC performs research and development
MSC performs research and development in the field of engineering and manufacturing of metal structures, including related technologies such as coatings. It is one of the key missions of MSC to perform high level research relevant for our customers and society as a whole.
For this reason, MSC combines the strength of academic, public and private research institutes. All MSC partners have vast experience with research programmes, private or public funded.
MSC is currently actively involved in four types of R&D programmes
- Fundamental research carried out at the benefit of society (public funding)
- Developing new technologies for its customers or to improve its services (own funding)
- Bringing together different companies willing to cooperate on a given topic, thus joining forces at the benefit of all members of the research group (collaborative projects)
- Bilateral contractual research work for different companies (external private funding)
The research fields of MSC include (non-exhaustive list): tribology, fracture mechanics, fatigue, plasticity, stability of structures, joining techniques, corrosion, adhesion of coatings, etc.
MSC also assures an adequate development path for the application research results. For this reason, MSC owns state-of-the-art equipment for large-scale testing, and is able to develop customised systems according to the needs of its customers. These large scale set-ups are enable the validation of new developments and increase the confidence level of any new technology.
Co-engineering – MSC help along the way
In a climate of ever-increasing globalisation and fierce competition, innovation and the creation of value for our customers will continue to be of utmost importance. For this reason, co-engineering and co-development projects are an important part of the MSC activities.
MSC’s unique combination of knowledge about steel, steel structures and processing can open unexpected opportunities for the customer. Therefore, early involvement is encouraged to move from a cost-saving to a value-creating mindset.
This customer-oriented approach leads to advanced research through innovative solutions. Often the initial idea is rather simple, such as reducing the weight of a structure. However, implementing high strength steel to replace a regular grade may require adaptation of the structure and its processing condition. By combining experimental work and finite element analysis MSC assists customers from design to optimisation phase.
MSC’s highly qualified staff carries out finite element computations
MSC’s highly qualified staff carries out finite element computations to perform static and dynamic simulations of components and structures with linear and non-linear constitutive material behaviour.
Typical software applications include:
- General finite element simulations (Abaqus™)
- Large deformation simulations (Autoform™)
- Multiphysics (Comsol™)
- Welding simulations (Sysweld™)
complemented by open source software adapted to the needs of the customers.
Meshing can be carried out using different CAD programs (Autodesk Inventor™, Solidworks™).