Metal structures engineering technology speeds time-to-market
Our multi-disciplinary team combines expertise in the fields of metal, fabrication and structural behaviour for larger or specific structures in steel or metal to provide a complete solution to your technical challenges. The Metal Structures Centre offers numerical simulation capacity as well as lab and full scale testing facilities.
Thanks to the integrated concept of the Metal Structures Centre you can benefit from the extensive range of sample preparation equipment to testing facilities. The experienced staff provides you with a full-service commitment to and partnership with your research, production or process team in full confidentiality. This synergy is our strength and helps our customers to speed their time-to-market.
This section of our website presents a selection of the technological expertise making use of typical industrial project examples mostly focusing on the energy market.
Material selection is of paramount importance in every project.
The Metal Structures Centre is a leading coordination centre for R&D in metallurgy and behaviour of metals. Our skilled staff will help you with recommendations on optimised chemical composition to improve fracture toughness, corrosion resistance, crack resistance, fatigue life, creep resistance and weldability including use in harsh environments.
- Prediction of steel properties during pipe bending
- Assessment of external damage to pipelines
- Corrosion resistant coatings for tubes
- Metallurgy of welding
Joining and welding are crucial for the manufacturing of a structure.
The Metal Structures Centre can assist you in developing joining and welding guidelines and perform the qualification program. Our facilities in Zwijnaarde are fully equipped with state-of-the-art welding installations, including an industrial multi-wire submerged arc welding machine. In addition to welding equipment the Metal Structures Centre also owns simulators to reproduce the metallurgical transformation occurring at specific locations of the heat affected zone (e.g. coarse grain or intercritically annealed heat affected zone).
- Threaded connections: design & fatigue testing
- Development of new girth welding techniques for pipelines
- Formulation of welding guidelines for new and existing steel grades
- Industrial process simulation for pipes, heavy plates and wind turbine towers
The Metal Structures Centre offers state-of-the-art equipment for heavy duty projects.
Such as a set-up for curved wide plate testing; static and fatigue tests ranging from small specimens to real-size components testing on a reinforced floor for large scale experiments. Upscaling from small scale to component scale testing and from component testing to real structure is generally performed with the support of linear and non-linear finite element.
- Stability of jack-up barge
- Fatigue of wind turbine hub
- Offshore pipe reeling modelling and scaled testing
- Design of composite crack arrestors
- Stability of subsea pipeline
- Component testing such as resonant bending and curved wide plate
The three R&D fields mentioned above are combined to allow innovative and cost-efficient structural design including applying defect acceptance criteria. The Metal Structures Centre engineers master each load case and know how to translate them into specifications for material and manufacturing.
- Design codes & material specs for onshore and offshore pipelines or jacket structures
- Engineering critical assessment of aged installations
- Improved gloss for fusion bonded epoxy coating
- Ultra-high strength steel for mobile cranes
- Advanced material characterisation methods to study hydrogen embrittlement
- Material selection for drilling pipes in sweet and sour environment
- Assessment of fatigue life expectation of components