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New technologies are transforming how we build, monitor and fix the structures around us. Come to 'Making and breaking' to find out what 3D printing has done for us, how sound can be used to detect fractures and how computers can be trained to predict when buildings will need maintenance.
What's the difference between a bridge and an aeroplane?
Julian Gosliga (Mechanical Engineering)
Being able to detect damage in structures early decreases the chance of catastrophic failure. This is especially important in structures such as bridges and aeroplanes. Much like an unexpected ache or pain could mean a trip to the doctor’s, unexpected changes in how a structure vibrates tell us that it’s time for an inspection. The question is: can we use data from other similar structures to spot a problem before it’s too late? And how do we define similarity?
What has 3D printing ever done for us?
3D Printing has made headlines in all manner of areas, from personalised chocolates through to space exploration. This is exciting of course, but 3D Printing also has a part to play on a very personal level. Candice will highlight some of the many ways it's being used now, and may be use in the future, to keep us all feeling human.
Detecting structural fractures with sound
In the pitch black, a bat speeds through the air and swoops around a tree to eat a tasty insect snack in mid-air. Bats avoid trees and find snacks just by using sound. Scientists have taken this further and are using sound to detect cracks in the walls of nuclear power-plants and leaks in the ancient UK sewage system! Can you recognise the sound of a crack in a wall? How about a blocked sewage pipe?