School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


Deformation Behaviour of Smart Structures Research Project Image

Deformation behaviour of smart structures

The project funded mutually by the Royal Society and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research is focused on development of theoretical foundations of mechanics of complex structures with viscoelastic and piezoelectric elements.

Our Aim

In recent years, the areas associated with fundamental and applied research of smart materials and structures have been actively developed. Smart materials could include one or more of the following elements: sensors, actuators and systems for real-time information processing. Composite materials are best suited for implementation of the concept of smart structures as they can contain combinations of these key elements and provide their interconnection. One of the most sought-for are piezoelectric smart materials that, with their direct and reverse piezoelectric effects, can act as both sensors and actuators. Electromechanical behaviour of composite materials containing piezoelectric elements can be presented by electro-elastic or electro-viscoelastic models. Such smart structures have a broad range of applications, among which are monitoring of deformation behaviour and control of the shape and geometry of parts and structures. These scenarios of structural dynamic behaviour can be expanded by connecting piezoelectric elements to external electrical circuits incorporating elements with resistance, inductance, capacitance as well as generators of current and voltage. Within the framework of this project it is proposed to investigate smart structures that along with elastic, viscoelastic and piezoelectric components (with external electrical circuits), contain polymeric materials modified with nanoscale carbon particles enhancing electrical conductivity of the polymer materials.

The aim of this research is to develop theoretical foundations for, and study applications of, such novel smart materials for monitoring of deformation behaviour of structures, control and optimisation of dynamic characteristics and performance of various systems.   

Our Research

The project employs development of mathematical models and algorithms suitable for numerical assessment of quasi-static and dynamic behaviours of smart structures made of heterogeneous materials with elastic, viscoelastic and piezoelectric elements.

Our Outcomes

The project will provide a better understanding of mechanics of smart materials that can be used for design and optimisation of various structures and components.

Professor Vadim Silberschmidt, Professor of Mechanics of Materials and Director of International Centre of Vibro-Impact Systems (ICoVIS)

“A continuing process of introduction of new materials with complex properties needs development of novel theoretical and numerical tools for prediction of their performance under various loading and environmental conditions. This international collaboration contributes to this.”

Professor Vadim Silberschmidt, Professor of Mechanics of Materials and Director of International Centre of Vibro-Impact Systems (ICoVIS)