The Section of Mechanics included the Laboratory of Applied Mechanics which was founded in 1977. It conducts fundamental and applied research on experimental mechanics, fracture mechanics, non destructive testing of monolithic, composite and nanocomposite materials and computational mechanics. The Section of Mechanics routinely educates undergraduate and graduate students on science and technology of civil engineering materials, strength of materials, and fracture mechanics. The Lab features testing equipment which enables the performance of all kinds of mechanical testing; also human recourses and long experience in the development and characterization of civil engineering materials, advanced composites, sandwich structures, concrete technology and durability, and fracture mechanics of concrete. Recent activities extend to the scientific areas of nanocomposites, fiber reinforced and self compacting concrete (SCC). All tests are executed according to ASTM, ISO and ACI Standards. The personnel of the Section of Mechanics includes 4 Faculty members, and 1 experienced technician. About 5 PhD, 2 MSc and 3 undergraduate students are currently working in the facilities. Finally, the Section has participated in a number of national and European research programs related to processing, characterization and modeling of advanced composites and nanocomposites and innovative learning and training.
The laboratory is equipped with:
· 2D digital image correlation system, (DIC) with a data acquisition system
· 250 kN MTS hydraulic digitally-controlled closed-loop testing machine (static-dynamic-fatigue, tension-compression-bending)
· 50 kN MTS hydraulic digitally-controlled machine (static-dynamic, tension-compression-bending-torsion-off axis loading)
· 1tn INSTRON testing machine (static-dynamic, tension-compression-bending)
· 60 kN SCHENCK hydraulic machine (static, tension-compression-bending)
· fatigue testing machine
· Custom made 1500 MN Compression Hydraulic Press to conduct large scale experiments (1:1)
· Data Acquisition systems
· Electrical microscope
· Several drying ovens
· Ultrasonication system
It is also equipped with a machine shop and with various displacement sensing and recording devices, such as strain gages, optical (video) and mechanical extensometers, LVDTs etc. Finally, it includes all the necessary equipment for supporting a concrete laboratory such as mixers and equipment for testing the rheological properties of SCC etc.