Applied Computer Graphics (Since 1983)

This research area aims to investigate computer graphics techniques applied to the development of interactive graphic programs for the aid of analysis and engineering design. Special attention is given to systems for creation (preprocessing: mesh generation and application of attributes), analysis and visualization of results (post-processing) of finite element models. The integration of all these design steps is a fundamental point of the area, resulting in a kind of scientific simulation called interactive-adaptive analysis.

Structures of Concrete and Composite Materials (Since 1978)

This research area focuses on the evaluation of the performance and resistance of structural elements and systems composed of concrete reinforced with rebars and/or fibers, cementitious and polymer composites reinforced with fibers and hybrids. The main types of reinforcement material investigated are steel, synthetic materials (glass and carbon fibers) and biomaterials. Research may involve experimental and numerical analysis, analytical modeling and development of rational methods for structural design.

The main projects in progress are:

  • Reinforced/prestressed concrete: shear in beams, puncture in slabs and residual strenth of elements subjected to high temperatures;
  • Fiber reinforced concrete: bending and shear performance in beams;
  • Geopolymer concrete reinforced with natural fibers: development and evaluation of the behavior of structural elements in composites with geopolymer matrix;
  • Textile concrete: performance and strength of beams and slender columns in cementitious composite reinforced with carbon fiber fabric;
  • Polymer reinforced with glass fiber: instability of beams and columns of pultruded profiles in glass fiber reinforced polymer.

Behavior of Structures Under Exceptional Loads

This research area aims to understand the behavior of structures subjected to exceptional loads such as those caused by fire, explosives, impact and earthquakes. The goal is to develop methodologies that result in the design of more robust and redundant structures that can withstand progressive collapse when subjected to these extreme loads. The researches of this line involve computational and experimental models and consider both the response at the structural element level and at the structural system level.

Engineering Project Methodologies

This research area aims to investigate new methodologies to improve the workflow of engineering projects. In particular, the use of the BIM methodology (modeling of information for construction) in the integration between the various courses involved in the project as well as the different phases of the project is explored.  This methodology uses sophisticated computational tools that centralize the design information along with the 3D digital model. The interoperability between computational tools is one of the main factors for the success of using the BIM methodology in its entirety. In this area, studies related to interoperability between software, electronic document management, and adequacy of the BIM methodology to the Brazilian reality are carried out.

Advanced Cementitious Materials

The present research area has as goal the experimental and numerical study cementitious materials in the different scales. It seeks to understand and correlate properties in nano, micro and macro scales. Basic research is conducted to better understand the science of cementitious materials and concrete. This research area covers studies on:

  • Mechanical behavior of textile concretes and fibrous concretes with multiple cracking in the direct traction;
  • Durability and micromechanics of composites reinforced with natural fibers;
  • Effect of the action of high temperatures on the interface and mechanical behavior of fibrous concretes;
  • Study of the rheology of cementitious systems;
  • Study of the durability and slow deformations of concretes;
  • Study of nano-fibers as inclusions in concrete;
  • Study of special cement slurries for oil industry.

Inelastic Structures and Materials (Since 2004)

The research area is focused on theoretical and computational aspects of the modeling of materials and structures. Special attention is given to the inelastic behavior of materials in the presence of large deformations, considering scale, time and temperature effects. Frictional contact problems are also addressed. Special formulations of finite elements and discrete elements are employed.

Projects in progress:

  • Buried duct and soil-structure interaction;
  • Structures of materials with functional gradation;
  • Pneumatic structures;
  • Models for granular materials (metallic powders and geomaterials);
  • Geomechanical models of reservoirs.

Metallic Structures (Since 1979)

This research area is aimed at the development of steel and mixed steel-reinforced concrete construction systems, which can offer cost reduction and construction time. The industrial segments that can benefit most from the results of this research are the field of construction of multi-story buildings and sector of industrial sheds and supply distribution centers. Topics such as structures of large spatial roofing and tenso structures, mixed-slabs, mixed connections and steel structures for the oil and energy sector are also studied.

Instability and Dynamics of Structures (Since 1975)

In this area, theoretical and experimental investigations on stability loss problems in static and nonlinear dynamics of structures are developed. The stability theory of structures is linked to the fundamentals of structural mechanics and continuum mechanics. The demand for research in this area has occurred with the development of civil, naval, oceanic and aeronautical industries, with changes of structural conceptions and requirements of more accurate verification of the behavior of structures. Complex mathematical and computational models are needed to simulate such systems. Recently, the importance of this classic theme in structural engineering has been recognized in other areas of research, especially in the areas of nonlinear dynamics, vibration control and material instability. This area includes the study of instability, penetration and cavitation of hyperelastic membranes and instability of hyperelastic shells.

Non-Conventional Materials (Since 1990)

In recent years, with the increase of funding for research, numerous research groups were created in Brazilian universities. However, there is still a certain lack of integration between them, and works that could be shared are often overlapped.

In this research area, in addition to conducting research at PUC-Rio, it is intended to group several institutions that already develop related research, to expand the network of knowledge about the use of natural resources and agro-industrial residues, for the creation of new building materials, both for employment in urban buildings and in rural constructions. This integration will soilbe developed through joint work within four research projects, in the themes of materials development and sustainable engineering: Cementitious composites reinforced with vegetable fibers and hybrid (mix of manmade and vegetable fibers); Bamboo in engineering and construction; Raw Earth Constructions; Agro-industrial wastes as mineral additives in cementitious materials.

Boundary Element Methods (Since 1986)

Variational and mathematical fundamentals of advanced methods of analysis of structural problems and the continuum mechanics are developed.

New computational formulations of finite and boundary elements and reduced mesh are developed. Applications have been made to acoustic, dynamics and fracture mechanics problems, as well as materials with functional gradation and materials with non-local elastic properties, for finite or infinite media, single or multiply related. Contributions of a more theoretical nature include new concepts and variational methods, generalized inverse matrix theory, advanced modal analysis of structures, and solution of nonlinear eigenvalue problems.