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Technology transfer

Below there are some illustrative examples of LERMA's capabilities in the field of Technology Transfer:

Experimental Characterization of structural components of metal racks

Since 1980, LERMA is carrying out tests and analysis of structural components of metal racks. It is the most important  field of the technology transfer at the moment. LERMA is the laboratory that has more experience and specialization in this area in Spain, and it is one of the reference laboratories in Europe. The work is mainly performed with experimental tests of components and groups of components, but also with analytical methods and numerical simulation with finite elements.

A collaboration has been made with mostly all of the big Spanish manufacturers of metal racks, and with some European too. We also collaborate, in means of technology and regulations, with other European laboratories, with AEM (Asociación Española de Manutención), and with FEM (Fédération Européenne de Manutention).

Most of the tests and analysis are based in the FEM regulations and the EN Standards, but specific projects are also undertaken, of analysis, design, optimization and innovation of components and groups, and also reports and specialist reports.

More than 1000 reports and studies have been carried out, about this subject, during the last 10 years, in reference to the analysis and testing of all types of structural elements that are related to racks. We have developed our own
specific methodologies, tools, facilities and instrumentation. Parallel to the collaborations with companies and institutions for the knowledge and technology transfer, the Department has various research fields in relation to lightweight structures that have a bearing on and complement this area. All this wealth of expertise knowledge, specific technology and scientific knowledge, make LERMA a leading laboratory in this area worldwide.

Download video Bending test of union crossbeam-upright

Software development for specific structural analysis

software_estruwin.jpg  a)    ESTRUWIN. Software for the analysis of structures in two dimensions, that takes into account the non-linear geometric behaviour. Nowadays a new version of this software is under development that will add the option to do this analysis in three dimensions and, also, stability linear analysis.

b)     Eurocode 3 software. Complete software for the verification of the sections and structural metal pieces following the European regulations Eurocode-3. It includes the software Eficaz for the calculation of the most efficient section in rolled and welded sections; the software Vuelco, for the calculation of the critical yielding moment; and the software Flexytor, for the verification of pieces under buckling caused by bending and bending-torsion.
c)    Autocar 66. Software for the analysis of the structural integrity of the security rings of the buses, following the prescriptions of the 66 Regulation of ONU. The lateral overturn of a bus is analysed from a set height and obliges a preservation of a surviving space for the passengers.

d)    Software for the sizing of cold-rolled steel straps. The Eurocode 3, more specifically section 10 from the part 1-3, shows a specific design methodology of this type of structural element. The department has developed a software that implements this methodology, automating the  sections verification process and the generation of tables of admissible loads.

e)    Software for the sizing of mixed steel-concrete forges of collaborate types. It is a similar application than the one before, but focused on forges. The design methodology prescribed in Euricode 4 is implemented, where from some experimental parameters that characterizes the connection of steel with the concrete, the wearing capacity of the forge is determined. There is the possibility to study different geometric configurations and generate design tables from here.


Analysis and re-design of the chassis of a MOBILE HOME

mobile-home.jpg Mobile homes need a chassis that can allow moving them to the  desired destination place, and also reallocate them if necessary. For this reason, the chassis can incorporate wheels so as to be towed in short distances. The initial solution was a chassis made of steel tubes, rectangular, welded, with the shape of a triangular structure. It was a good solution from the structural point of view; but due to the wide variety of mobile homes sizes offered (length - width), the solution wasn't flexible enough, slow in response, and non-practical from the material storage point of view.
The demand of a company that builds mobile homes was to propose a more flexible chassis system. The proposed solution is based on crossbars and bolsters, of cold-rolled sheets sections, that are joined with screws. The triangular plane inside gives it the necessary stiffness. The solution is much more flexible (it is only required to cut the sections at the desired length) and applied quickly (screwed joints), and the needed materials in stock is reduced considerably. Also, the tools needed for the building up are simplified.

LERMA proposed the structural analysis and the tests of the first prototypes.

Analysis of a spade's cogs resistance and stiffness

pala-excavadora.jpg The spade's cogs of a digger are submitted to extreme loads: from mechanical resistance, to knocks, wearing, etc.

A company in this area, that designs and manufactures the spade's cogs for diggers, asked for LERMA's collaboration for the analysis of resistance and stiffness of its cogs, to static and dynamic loads (under fatigue).

A special presser was designed and built for the testing of these cogs, with a capacity of 1000 kN, and the corresponding tools. Many tests have been carried out, static and dynamic, and the experimental analysis of stresses using strain gauges; of different types of cogs and materials.

Design, analysis and testing of a new type of container for the manipulation of cava bottles

contenidor1.jpg One of the operations that takes place in the elaboration process of cava is the "remoguda". The "remoguda" consists in turning the cava bottle 90º, and stand it up vertically on its top; so the sediment of the yeast, that has been used for the second fermentation inside the bottle, moves to the neck of the bottle so it can be extracted.

This operation, that was traditionally handmade, and in various stages, nowadays it can be done with a machine and in a short period of time. A cava producer asked LERMA for the design of a container to undertake the "remoguda" meeting the following requirements: 50% more capacity that the containers used so far, transport system with wheelbarrow without the need of horns, transportable and stackable in two positions (0º and 90º), conservation of the bottle alignment in both positions, lightweight and economic.
LERMA's proposal was an innovating container and different to the existing ones in the market, based on a structure of rectangular steel tubes welded, galvanized and a closing based on a steel sheet (and of aluminium at the door) cold-rolled, formed to guide the bottles, and with holes for emptying the leftovers and controlling the product. The transport of the container is done with a special mechanism next to the wheelbarrow that catches a bar from the container.

LERMA made the proposal, the design, the analysis and the static and dynamic tests of the first prototype.

Nowadays all the containers of the "remoguda" of the producer (5000 containers) are made with this new model.

Design and testing of new sheet sections for collaborative forges

assaigs normatius de flexió m-k.jpgThe mixed slabs research started in 1992 due to the collaborations with the industry that produces cold-rolled steel sheets, for designing and testing new models of arch ribbed sheets. The key to success of these designed sheets for mixed slabs, lies in assuring a good pressing system with a good resistance to the longitudinal slipping. The transfer of the gradient load between the steel and the concrete through the traditional pressing system in the sheet is the weak point of this building system.

With the aim of making the final step that will completely end the failure mode due to longitudinal slipping, a new system has been developed, in patent process by UPC, consisting in applying a series of hole punchings repeatedly forming longitudinal bands.