The Wessex Institute of Technology has coordinated this important EU project for the past three years. The work has been carried out in collaboration with the Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnologia de Materiales (INTEMA) of Argentina, the Centro de Supercomputacion de Galicia (CESGA), of Spain and the Coppe of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in Brazil.

The work on the project resulted in the development of a high-performance simulation capability for implanting the latest numerical algorithms to create an interactive design and lifetime prediction environment.

The numerical model was based on Boundary Elements which has become a well established technique for solving crack problems. This is due to the inherent efficiency of the method which includes accurate prediction of stresses and reduced modelling requirements. Recent investigations at WIT have resulted in the development of a special BEM formulation to represent the crack purely in terms of the crack surface with non internal elements. This new foundation is known as the Dual Boundary Element Method and has resulted in the development of techniques for automatic solution of crack growth. In this project the method has been extended to modelling of multiple growing, interactive and merging cracks.
 int3prp.jpg  junta.jpg
 Crack Profiles for two offset cracks
 DBEM modelof a T-Welded joint with a semi-elliptical crack

The final version of the work was launched in a seminar that recently took place in Buenos Aires. This event was held under the auspices of a Technology Transfer organisation set up by several different parties including the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI) and it presented the appropriate environment to attract participants with the right background to understand the importance of the work carried out by the HIPSIA Project. The idea was to help to promote the use of the resulting technology throughout the region.

The meeting was a great success and will lead to further collaboration by WIT and the other partners with local industry and Institutions.

The software developed by HIPSIA was demonstrated during the meeting. Many of the facilities are now incorporated in the BEASY (Boundary Element Analysis Systems) developed by a software company associated to WIT.

A series of other meetings were organised in the UK also to demonstrate the capabilities of the new software. They were well attended by industry amongst them the users of the BEASY code.

In addition to the above dissemination activities there have been approximately 20 papers produced by the consortium, published in scientific journals and presented to International Conferences. There have been also three PhD Thesis' resulting from this project, two at WIT and one at CESGA.

The project was very successful and helped to strengthen the excellent links between the participant's Institutes.