Imperial College London has a long and distinguished record of research in structural integrity (SI) including fracture, fatigue, creep and the associated technologies of stress analysis, non-destructive evaluation (NDE), materials development and the understanding of manufacturing (especially welding-related effects such as residual stress measurement and predictions. In the 1970s, Professors Cedric Turner, John Radon, John Rogan and George Webster developed understanding of fatigue and creep crack growth in metal alloys, while understanding failure mechanisms in composites was led by Professors Gordon Williams and Tony Kinloch.

Much of this work continues to this day but is complemented by state of the art experimental, theoretical, modelling, and characterisation investigations which now include: energy materials and structures (from lithium ion batteries to zirconium cladding for nuclear power generation); novel manufacturing methods including ALM and selective laser processing; environmental factors including corrosion, temperature and pressure; and micromechanical studies to establish mechanistic understanding of defect nucleation and growth to inform structural response.

Structural Integrity research is supported at Imperial through a number of research centres funded by industry including the EdF Energy High Temperature Centre, the Rolls‑Royce Nuclear University Technology Centre, and Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials of China, and by strong collaborations with a wide industry base – in addition to research grants from EPSRC, the EU and Innovate UK. The research extends across disciplines, departments and research groups including Materials, the Institute of Shock Physics, Non-destructive Evaluation and the Centre for Nuclear Engineering. The outcomes of the research have been widely employed through direct industrial uptake and in the development of structural integrity codes and standards, including R5, R6, BS7910, ASTM E1457 and ASTM E2670. 

 

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