Coventry University and TWI have taken their long-standing relationship a step further with the establishment of the research and development (R&D) focused Advanced Structural Integrity Innovation Centre (ASIIC).
ASIIC will see Coventry University and TWI build a platform to combine both parties’ expertise in structural integrity, fostering a collaborative research culture to bring innovation to the market place. The Centre’s mission is to advance cutting edge technologies, and develop novel methods, for safety-critical applications that will make operations in the field more reliable, and incorporate industry 4.0 elements such as internet of things (IoT) and machine learning. The key focus of the collaboration will be to create new systems that can predict asset integrity more accurately, extend their lifespan and improve the overall performance of structures.
At the core of ASIIC are plans to develop collaborations with SMEs, research and technology organisations (RTOs) in the UK and Europe, TWI Industrial Member companies and TWI Innovation Network (TWIIN) Subscriber organisations. ASIIC will exploit the facilities of both Coventry University and TWI to undertake joint research programmes, utilising public funding, that can build a portfolio of novel technologies, methods, and techniques, and stimulate new design in structural integrity solutions.
The Centre will focus on key research areas that include: residual stress analysis for improved structural integrity life prediction and life enhancement; novel condition monitoring techniques including novel sensing technologies; digital twin for real-time monitoring of in-service assets and provision of operational and planning date; and research and guidance development on the effect of simulated service environments, for example hydrogen gas, for structural integrity applications.
In addition, ASIIC will concentrate on: the integrity of advanced materials components, such as complex geometries, for additive manufacturing; development of advanced, non-destructive (NDT) testing and inspection techniques for industrial application; and utilisation of data modelling to enable industries such as construction and engineering to take proactive measures to keep buildings and large infrastructure safe for use.
Professor Matthew Doré, Centre Director of ASIIC, as well as Section Manager for Fatigue & Fracture at TWI, said: “TWI is delighted to establish this new Innovation Centre with Coventry University, which will take on industrial challenges in relation to structural integrity, and provide efficient, new solutions for extending the life cycle of assets, improving their performance and mitigating damage. In turn, these activities will pave the ways for deepening the application of structural integrity methods and systems at technology readiness levels (TRLs) 1-6.”
Matthew joined TWI in 2000 and, since then, has been extensively involved in areas such as fatigue design, fracture mechanics, mechanical testing, residual stress, fatigue life extension and site investigations. He is also a Chartered Engineer through The Welding Institute and is currently Chair of the fatigue design rules for BS 7608, BS 7910 and represents the UK for the International Institute of Welding (IIW) Commission XIII.
Professor Michael Fitzpatrick, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engineering, Environment and Computing) at Coventry University, said: “Our new Innovation Centre builds on Coventry’s leading expertise in structural integrity research, combined with TWI’s world-class facilities and broad network of industrial partners. Our collaboration with the National Structural Integrity Research Centre has been delivering fantastic research for several years and has provided the launch pad for this new initiative. Our intention is to deliver world-leading research that will impact on safety-critical infrastructure and applications around the world.”
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