Engineers involved in waterways and shipping administration as well as companies in the lock, weir and bridge construction sectors visited BAM during the 2020 Hydraulic Steelwork Conference. The group showed particular interest in load capacity testing of steel structures as well as the materialography and ageing of materials, e.g. due to aqueous corrosion.
After a brief introduction to BAM’s work, the group visited the Buildings and Structures division. The engineers were given an insight there into how small and large steel components used in, for example, offshore wind farms are subjected to complex fatigue-related tests and more. Another demonstration showed how welded seams can be monitored by use of extensive, non-destructive measurement sensor technology.
During the subsequent visit to the Materialography, Fractography and Ageing of Engineered Materials division, methods were showed on how to characterisee in greater detail the behaviour of materials under stress, such as the visualisation of smallest material defects through the resolution of their microstructures by using computer tomography.
Damage analysis of electricity pylons were another demonstration where the group got a realistic insight into how a certain shaping (structure) of the steel grid components can impact stability in the event of strong winds combined with icing, thereby forcing entire power lines to ‘buckle’.