The area of Structures is directed toward cutting-edge scientific research, training professionals (engineers and researchers) to very high standards, enabling them to solve major engineering problems, generating scientific and technological knowledge and disseminating it in society. This area is divided into two major lines of research: Numerical Analysis of Structures, and Experimental Analysis and Mechanical Behavior of Structural Elements and Systems (AECMESE).
Research on the Numerical Analysis of Structures encompasses the Center of Optimization and Reliability in Engineering (CORE), founded in 2012. The Center’s activities are focused on the theoretical development and application of numerical tools for the solution of complex engineering problems, including the quantification of uncertainties and structural reliability, optimization and computational mechanics (static, dynamic, linear and nonlinear analysis). Five researchers work at CORE, two of them being CNPq researchers of level 2 productivity, with over thirty-five articles published between 2013 and 2016, in the most highly regarded international journals of the area. CORE researchers have actively taken part in research and development (R&D) projects in the areas of electrical energy transmission towers, petroleum wells and reinforced concrete bridges. They have formed scientific partnerships with several Brazilian universities, including USP, UFPB, UFRGS, UFRJ, PUC-Rio, UTFPR and FURG. Currently, the main interactions with foreign institutions are with the Laboratory of Optimization and Reliability in Mechanical Structures (LOFIMS), National Institute of Applied Sciences of Rouen – France, and the Center for Uncertainty Quantification in Computational Science & Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal – Saudi Arabia. Besides the development of scientific research ties with these universities, processes of co-tutelage have been initiated. Concerning the attraction of financial resources from industry to support cutting-edge scientific research at the university, CORE is currently working in partnership with the Department of Structures Engineering at EESC/USP, the Mechanical Engineering Department of UTFPR and the Center of Research and Development (CENPES) of PETROBRAS S.A.
The Analysis and Design Group (GAP), which operates within the Numerical Analysis of Structures line of research, has been working in the areas of Structure Design and Energy Generation and Transmission Structures, together with companies working with engineering and computer programming for the design of structures.
Working within the AECMESE line of research are the Nondestructive Testing Research Group (GPEND) and the Interdisciplinary Wood Studies Group (GIEM). GIPEND focuses on the development of techniques for nondestructive testing (e.g. ultrasound, infrared), mainly applied to reinforced concrete and wooden structures. In relation to the international collaborations of the group, GPEND works on research projects with different universities and research institutes, such as the ZAG Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
GIEM was created at the Civil Engineering Department in 1999 and currently three researchers form the group: two from UFSC and one from IFSC. They carry out research and disseminate technical information in the area of wood materials through consultancy and studies linked to the Civil Engineering and the Architecture and Urbanism Graduate Programs at UFSC. Their activities are concerned with the search for clean and low cost technological alternatives, which can improve the performance of the industrial sector dealing with wood materials. The themes addressed at GIEM include the physical and mechanical characterization of forest species and forest-based materials, experimental analysis and modeling of structures, mechanical behavior of wood on exposure to high temperatures and fire, the durability, reconstruction and reinforcement of wooden buildings, diagnosis and preservation of historical heritage buildings constructed in wood and design criteria for wooden structures. GIEM has continuously worked in the training of human resources through doctoral degrees, master’s degrees and students in scientific initiation programs, maintaining technical-scientific collaborations with national and international institutions. The national institutions include the Regional University of Blumenau (FURB), The University for the Development of Santa Catarina State (UDESC), the Federal University of Pará State (UFPA) – Tucuruí, Pará, and the State University of Western Paraná (UNIOESTE) – Cascável, Paraná. The international institutions include the Science and Technology College (FCTUC) of the University of Coimbra – Portugal, with which a transnational cooperation project FCT/CAPES was developed, the University of Magallanes – Chile, University of Minho – Portugal, National Higher-Education School of Industrial Technologies for Wood Materials of Épinal – France, and the University of Padova – Italy.
GIEM is currently developing a doctoral program funded by ELARCH – the Euro-Latin America partnership in natural Risk mitigation and protection of the Cultural Heritage. Interaction with companies manufacturing wood-based products, such as Battistella and Lavrasul SA, along with state-run institutions, such as SESI-SC, Urban Planning Institute of Florianópolis (IPUF), Culture Foundation of Santa Catarina State (FCC), National Heritage Institute of History and Art (IPHAN), and the Coordination of the Fortresses of Santa Catarina Island at UFSC, forms part of the activities of GIEM. In relation to the design of wooden structures, GIEM is taking part in the commissions for the proposal of the Brazilian norm ABTC/CB-31 (Wood Frame) and the revision of the norm ABTN 7190 (Design of Wooden Structures).
LEE –Structural Experimentation Laboratory
LEE is equipped to carry out tests on structural elements manufactured in various different types of materials. Tests on beams, columns, slabs, walls, stairs, posts, pipes and other components of civil construction can be performed. This laboratory can also undertake traditional or innovative technology research on the production of structural elements in high-performance structural concrete and prefabricated structures in concrete, steel, wood, structural masonry, reinforced mortar, glued laminated timber, composites of glued laminated timber reinforced with resistant fibers, and other composites. Other activities include traditional or innovative solutions, damage diagnosis and the reconstruction and reinforcement of structures.
The laboratory infrastructure available attends the needs of teaching activities for both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as research and outreach projects. LEE is installed in an area of 400 m², comprised of a test room with an area of 252 m² and height of 8 m, where a 10 m x 10 m reaction slab is installed, a carpentry room with an area of 50 m ², a design room with an area of 38 m² and a controlled environment room. The laboratory has various pieces of equipment:
- A bridge crane (50 kN capacity);
- Two hydraulic systems to be coupled to load actuators;
- Hydraulic cylinder actuators (800 kN, 250 kN and 100 kN each);
- Load cells with digital gages (5 kN, 10 kN, 20 kN, 30 kN, 50 kN, 100 kN, 200 kN and 500 kN capacity);
- A testing machine to characterize the specimens and structural pieces with up to 2 m of height (load capacity up to 3000 kN with precision of 2 kN);
- Two testing frames (capacity of 200 kN to 2400 kN);
- A testing machine for small specimens (capacity of 100 kN and precision of 170 N);
- A universal testing machine for specimens to characterize wood materials (capacity of 60 kN and precision of 20 N);
- Manual hydraulic cylinders (capacities of 60 kN, 100 kN and 120 kN);
- Analog and digital dial gages and displacement transducers (1 mm, 10 mm, 30 mm, 50 mm and 100 mm strokes with precision of hundreds or thousands of millimeters);
- Electronic precision balances;
- Hygrometer with a metal pin probe for the nondestructive verification of wood moisture content;
- Apparatuses for ultrasound testing (manufactured by PUNDIT and SYLVTEST), sclerometry, maturity and pin penetration tests;
- Gas-fired radiant heat panel (ASTM E 162-79) to determine the fire propagation index of materials;
- Optical pyrometer (manufactured by Omega Engineering, Inc.) Type K, field of vision 20:1;
- Data acquisition systems (manufactured by HBM, models Spider and MGC plus) with 32 channels (Spider) and 48 channels (MGC plus), featuring a computer interface, CATMAN and HP-VEE programs for data acquisition and treatment, testing and data acquisition program in a KRATOS machine;
- Vertical autoclave (manufactured by Phoenix);
- Climate chamber (240 L) with temperature control between 10 Cº and 40 C° and relative air humidity between 10% and 90%, internal dimensions of 500 mm (width) x 400 mm (depth) x 1200 mm (height);
- Temperature and wood moisture gages;
- Quimis oven with a capacity of p/ 1 m³ (operating range of 0 °C to 300 ºC);
- Carpentry tools;
- Infrared chamber.
LAE – Laboratory of structural analysis
LAE has the following pieces of equipment available:
- SUN Ultra5 Spark Iii station;
- Fourteen personal computers;
- Two Macintosh computers;
- One laser printer;
- One A3 inkjet printer;
- One flat-bed scanner;
LAE has also the following commercial and educational computer programs for the analysis and design of structures:
- MIX – Analysis of plane frames, grids and plates;
- MIX 3D – Analysis of tridimensional structures;
- SAP 2000 – Version 11 – linear and nonlinear analysis of special bar structures and finite elements;
- ANSYS – Structural analysis by the finite elements method;
- NASTRAN and PATRAN – Structural analysis by the finite elements method;
- CASTRAM – Structural analysis by the finite elements methods;
- Pró-viga/ Pró-laje/ Pró-pilar – Calculation and detailing of beams, slabs and columns in reinforced concrete;
- Eberick – Calculation and detailing of reinforced concrete buildings;
- ANEST – Educational program for static analysis of reticulated structures;
- Educational programs in the area of structural analysis and detailing: plane frames (linear and nonlinear analysis), trusses, grids.