The components and systems developed for highly competitive industrial sectors, such as transport (including automotive, railways and aeronautics) and space, whose responsibility is also noteworthy, must be designed following systematic development methodologies. The support of technologies, including computer-aided resources and rapid prototyping & production tools, enables researchers and developers to swiftly detect potential problems and to promote safety, while optimizing time-to-market and costs. The use of complex lattice or porous structures, which can be additively manufactured, helps to develop parts and subsystems with optimal resistance vs. weight ratio, which is of special importance for transport, aeronautics and space applications. The employment of scale models, obtained by adequate application of the Vaschy-Buchingham p theorem, helps to analyze systems’ performance before taking relevant production decisions. In our group we devote research efforts to these areas, in connection with the previously mentioned design and development trends, in applications including:
- Design, modelling and manufacture of aerodynamic / hydrodynamic surfaces.
- Topological optimization procedures towards improved resistance vs. weight.
- Topological optimization procedures towards improved mass distributions.
- Development of models for wind tunnel testing (usually in transport and aeronautics).
- Design of models with modular elements and related test-benches for systematic testing.