News

ARC Grant Success


16 November 2004

We congratulate A/ProfessorsDavid AireyandKim RasmussenandJohn Smallfor their recent successful grants in the highly competitive ARC Discovery program. Details of these projects are below.

David Airey
David Airey

A/Prof David Airey: Miniature triaxial tests to investigate effects of pore fluid salt concentration on the mechanics of clays
Funding - 2005 : $60,000 2006 : $30,000 2007 : $40,000

Summary: Mitigating the land degradation caused by salinity is a national priority. In the urban environment salinity and the associated waterlogging have the potential to seriously degrade infrastructure and domestic housing. Currently the effects of salinity on the mechanical response of the ground are not well understood and there is a paucity of engineering models capable of predicting ground behaviour. This project aims to address this situation by providing new knowledge and understanding of how changes in salt concentration affect the soil, and by developing models capable of predicting the observed behaviour. This will assist in the development of rational approaches to mitigate the effects of salinity.


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Kim Rasmussen
Kim Rasmussen

A/Prof Kim Rasmussen & Prof Greg Hancock: Behaviour and innovative design of drive-in steel storage racks
Funding - 2005 : $80,000 2006 : $58,000 2007 : $60,000

Summary: Drive-in steel storage racks offer the most space-effective solution to storage needs. They have become increasingly sought after as population growth concentrates in the main Australian metropolitan areas, which is pushing up the cost of land and storage. However, the high failure rate of drive-in racking systems is costly to society, as they cause disruptions to our production and supply cycles, and lead to increased costs to Australian industry and the consumer of the final product. There are great national benefits to be gained from developing innovative drive-in storage systems which have minimum risk of structural failure. Such systems will also enhance the international competitiveness of the Australian rack manufacturing industry.


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John Small
John Small

A/Prof John Small & Prof John Carter: The effect of tunneling on existing rock bolts
Funding - 2005 : $91,984 2006 : $93,000 2007 : $101,265

Summary: As more underground facilities such as rail, road, sewerage and service tunnels are constructed in our major cities, more and more frequently new tunnels have to cross over or run alongside existing tunnels. As the roofs of tunnels are generally supported by rock bolts and lined with shotcrete, the support system can be damaged by the rock movements caused by the excavation of the new tunnel. Little research has been carried out on this problem, and so often expensive deviations have to be made to tunnels to avoid going near existing ones. The proposed research will provide numerical tools to allow prediction of loads induced into rock bolts by nearby tunnels, leading to more economical and safer tunnel design.

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We also congratulate Kim Rasmussen for his recent successful major equipment grant for a Scanning Electron Microscope - embedded Micro-scale Tensile Testing Facility

This application is for a testing facility to enable research at the micro-scale of the yielding and fracture processes in metallic alloys and other ductile materials under tensile loading. The idea is to purchase a tensile testing machine small enough to fit inside one of the scanning electron microscopes (SEM) at the Electron Microscope Unit (EMU). The facility will allow detailed studies and characterization at micro-level of the mechanisms driving yield propagation to eventual fracture through debonding, void nucleation and void coalescence.

The initiative is cross-disciplinary, bridging ongoing research at the EMU on the development of advanced high strength light alloys and research in the Civil Engineering Department on the strength of metallic structures, notably steel structures, stainless steel structures and aluminium structures. The initiative is part of the current strategic move of the Civil Engineering Department to conduct research on the multi-scale analysis of metallic structures.