The Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics AS CR, v. v. i
(ITAM AS CR, v. v. i.)
Experimental methods in material and structural mechanics
In order to understand the mechanical properties of materials, bodies and structures there is a need for theoretical models of the mechanics of solid bodies. The required data is acquired by methods of experimental mechanics. In addition to generic measurement (based on the use of traditional measurement elements like tensometers, strain gauges, etc.) various methods utilizing 2D fields of data acquired by application of various physical principles (e.g. optical pixel detectors, X-ray pixel detectors, thermography, scanning electron microscope) are widely used. These methods have manifested significant development in recent years thanks to the introduction of digital means of data recording and computer assisted data processing.
Evaluation of the properties of civil (mainly historical) structures is an additional field of research. A technique for remote data transfer using the GSM network is under development for long-term observation of the mechanical properties of structures.
Elements of large civil structures are assessed by a method based on detecting of changes in the dynamic characteristics of the studied element. The development of extremely precise gauges and the availability of computational power encourages the idea of utilizing changes in dynamic characteristics for estimating the size and location of damage in a structure. Theoretical tools for this task have been prepared for both continuum and discrete systems. This task requires an experimental approach to identify the fundamental system and to locate imperfections in the system.