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Materials, Mechanics and Energy division

Environmental issues for the aerospace and automobile sectors are colossal concerning CO2 standards and the cost of fuel. Reducing the weight of structures can partly respond to these requirements and is arousing growing interest and much collaborative work between players in the sector (builders, manufacturers, materials research centre,…).

In connection with a significant position in the Pays de la Loire region in the domain of composite materials (activities supported by the two competition clusters EMC2 and iD4Car), ESTACA'Lab provides expertise on the behaviour of materials, assemblies and structures under complex loads (static, dynamic, rupture). These skills cover both experimental and digital aspects of the fine behaviour of materials, from the microscopic scale up to the complete structure.

Its work is subject to guidelines on methodologies for predicting the mechanical strength of composite structures for transport.

In a highly collaborative mode, ESTACA'Lab shares its resources and cross-disciplinary know-how, particularly on non-destructive testing and the functionalisation of materials. Internally, two teams have complementary skills on composites covering the materials and vibration-mechanics aspects, which strengthens our position on this theme, particularly in modelling.

ESTACA's expertise in modelling extends from 1D to 3D, on vibratory and vibro-acoustic phenomena. The methods used adapt to the introduction of new materials, including mixed ones. This leads to constant enhancement of computation code and finite-element methods, to anticipate requirements for technological-breakthrough structures.

Going beyond materials, the themes addressed by the Environment and Mechanics of Composite Materials division also cover problems related to pollution generated by transport. Industrial applications target the reduction of polluting emissions, and focus particularly on phenomena of fouling (EGR valve), purifying gaseous effluents (VOC, soft) and filtering lubricating oil mists.

The underlying physics looks at aerosols and particulate deposit processes and studies gas-particle mixtures. Part of the work on the modelling and optimisation of flowing fluid systems contributes to cross-disciplinary approaches taking into account the fluid aspects. Collaborative actions, particularly with mechatronics, are already effective and are currently being enhanced in partnership with industrialists in the automobile sector.