Lines of research Materials and Components / Modelling

Modelling, Advanced Materials Characterisation and Forensic Engineering

Development of numerical modelling techniques and experimental methods for analysing the behaviour of materials under different service conditions. Oriented towards the analysis and development of products in which the behaviour of the materials plays a key functional role and presents aspects of certain complexity that require the use of advanced analysis tools, whether numerical or experimental.

Focused on:

  • The development of numerical models of materials to simulate their macroscopic behaviour at a service operation and failure level (especially within the mechanical and thermo-mechanical scope).
  • The development of advanced testing procedures for characterising the physical-chemical, mechanical, thermal and electromagnetic properties of a material under complex stressing conditions.
  • Research on how manufacturing processes influence the macroscopic properties of materials.


Fundamentally applied to technical polymers, adhesives, elastomers, paper and cardboard, composite materials and metallic materials. Industrially oriented at:

  • The study of products in which the complex behaviours of a material can be especially relevant (non-linearities, viscoelasticity, multiaxiality, dependency on temperature and/or humidity, dynamic behaviour, plasticity, failure, etc.) for the design and optimisation of components.
  • Projects related to the application/selection of alternative materials for specific applications, generally of high added value.
  • The determination of service specifications for new products.
  • The numerical-experimental analysis of joints or other multi-material systems.


In addition and with respect to forensic engineering, diagnosis of the causes of service failure of components and structures, mainly mechanical, although with different industrial sectors of origin (aeronautics, automotive industry, railway industry, energy, chemical industry, steel industry, metal working, capital goods, petrochemical industry, paper industry, etc.). 

 R&D work in forensic engineering is focused on the failure of metallic components in relation to failure due to static overload, fatigue, corrosion, welding problems, processing problems, heat treatments, etc., although work is simultaneously being conducted on other types of materials, mainly technical plastics.

 On some projects, activities are extended to providing support for decisions made about selecting/replacing materials.


The equipment list includes all equipment considered in Technical Assistance to provide technological services for material characterisation, with a very broad list of universal machines and auxiliary equipment, thereby covering mechanical characterisation and making it possible to conduct physical-chemical characterisation of the most significant properties.  The following pieces of equipment should be highlighted due to their special importance and the differentiating nature of their capacities:

  • DSM vertical micro-extruder.
  • Microinjector and vacuum-assisted thermoforming press.
  • Plastograph.
  • Rheometer.
  • DSC, TGA, FTIR, ICP and a spark spectrometer.
  • Metallographic preparation and optical microscopy equipment.
  • Several MUEs with broad ranges of load and dynamic behaviour.
  • Climate, salt spray and xenon test chambers.
  • Profilometer/roughness meter.


ITAINNOVA equipment is complemented according to the project by subcontracting specialised tests from universities (SEM, confocal microscopy, etc.).