Instituto de investigaciones en ciencia

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Research areas

  1. Fracture mechanisms of materials damage

This area is involves experimental, and numerical activities dedicated to the development of theoretical models for the prediction and characterization of damage mechanisms induced by cracks or crack-like defects. Undergoing research activities include topics related with stress corrosion cracking and multiple crack propagation in steels, decohesion models in polymers, fiber-matrix debonding composites, and cracking of microheterogenous materials.

  1. Fatigue damage in metals

Work in this area aims to the development of technological tools for the prediction of fatigue damage. Variables under analysis range from microstructural to macroscopic, including the effects of notches and other geometrical discontinuities, residual stresses, load history and welding process.

  1. Tribology  

Research activities in this area are dedicated to the design and construction of a scaled Mannesmann rotary piercing mill. The scaled prototype is used to analyze tribological mechanisms acting in the perforation mandrel during the seamless pipe forming. The experimental work is complemented with numerical simulations.

  1. Numerical modeling

Numerical modeling constitutes a key tool for most of the research activities of the group. Within this framework, both commercial and in-house developed FEM and BEM codes are used. At the same research activities are carried out in the theoretical aspects of the BEM and mesh less methods and structural shape optimization.

Research Projects in Cooperation

The group participates of the following international projects:

  • Project CAPES/SECYT 48/03 “Numerical modeling of damage micromechanisms in composite materials”, with the Universities Federal de Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

  • Project ALFA II-0235-A “ELBENet – Europe Latin America Boundary Element Network”

  • Project PICT 12-12528 “Modelado y diseño computacional de materials microheterogéneos”

and has signed research cooperation agreements or works in close collaboration with:

  • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Nagoya, Japan

  • Faculty of Engineering, Queen Mary College, University of London, UK

  • Wessex Institute of Technology, UK

  •  Department of Continuum Mechanics, University of Seville, Spain

  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

  • Department of Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Lima, Perú

  • Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Trujillo, Perú

  • Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

  • Departamento de Ciencia de los Materiales e Ingeniería Metalúrgica, Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya, España.

The group has an important expertise in offering the following services to the local and national industry:

  • Structural integrity analysis

  • Failure analysis

  • Numerical stress analysis

  • Fracture mechanical tests

  • Design and qualification of welding procedures

  • Mechanical design

For more information about Welding & Fracture Mechanics Division contact:

Prof. Adrián Pablo Cisilino (Head of Welding & Fracture Mechanics Division)


Phone: 54-223-4816600 -247

Fax: 54-223-4810046


4 Professors

13 Associate Professors

7 Research Associates

19 Graduate Students

3 Technicians

1 Undergraduate Students

Research Subjects:
1- Advanced Materials from Thermosetting Polymers
Objectives: The development of advanced materials based on thermosetting
polymers, obtained by polymerization induced phase separation or by dispersion
of nano-reinforcements or a combination of particles and fibers. Different
materials currently studied are: thermal-reversible light scattering films,
amphiphilic networks, thermosetting polymers toughened by a dispersion of
thermoplastic polymers, nano-reinforcements or a combination of natural fibers
and particles.
Current Projects:
1.- Thermal reversible light scattering films based on dispersions of organic crystals, liquid crystals, or their solutions in polystyrene, in an epoxy matrix.
2.- Amphiphilic networks.
3.- Poly(isobutylene) as a modifier of acrylic networks.
4.- Vinylester resins modified by dispersion of a thermoplastic polymer: effect
of the composition and curing conditions on the morphology and properties of the
5.- Polymeric precursors from tannin and vegetable oils renewable resources.
6.-  Unsaturated polyester resins modified with functionalized silica particles
or dispersions of natural fibers and particles.
7.- Fluorinated Polymer Networks.

2- Thermoplastic Polymers
Objective: The development of new characterization methods and the modelling of molecular structures and morphologies present in thermoplastic blends and alloys. Experimental measurements and termodynamic, kinetics and difussion models are used to determine and predict molecular morphologies in reactive and non reactive blends.
Current Projects :
1.- Characterization of semicrystalline copolymer blends.

2.- Mechanical properties of polymer blends and alloys.

3- Composite Polymeric Materials
Objectives: To determine the relationship between structure, processing conditions and final properties of the composite materials. The effect of the interface/interphase modification of the incorporated particles or fibers on the final properties is also studied using mechanical (short beam tests, bending tests, compression) and dynamic-mechanical tests.
Current Projects:
1.- Nanocomposites based on phenolic resins characterization and adhesion to metals.

2.- Structural composites based on thermoset and gloss fibers (water absorption, dielectric and mechanical properties, and processing).

3.- Composites based on biodegradable polymers (crystalization, thermal and biodegradation, mechanical properties)

4.- Composites made from polymeric matrices (synthetic and natural) and vegetable fibers or particles (wood flour, sisal, jute, bagasse)

5.- Heterogeneous phase separation: Effect of the addition of fibers into a matrix thermoplastic/thermoset).

6.- Study of composite processing: Pultrusion and RTM.

7.- Dynamical mechanical analysis of composite materials.

8.- Micro and Nano composites based on polyurethanes and cellulose.

4- Polymer Engineering: Deformation and Fracture of Polymeric Materials:
Objectives: The determination of thermoviscoelastic and ultimate mechanical properties of polymers and composites.
Current Projects:
1.- Structural characterization of polymeric materials to be used in the manufacture and lining of pipes and containers to contain and distribute gas, petroleum and its derivatives. Short and long term performance.

2.- Fracture toughness. Ductile-brittle transition-weldability. Deformation.

3.- Deformation, fracture, yield and michromechanisms of failure in novel polymeric blends (HDPE/PET,

PP/Engage), and nanoclay based nanocomposites of HDPE and Nylon. Simulation and  experimental work.

4.- Polymer processing: moulding design.

5- Biomedical Polymers
Objetives : Reprocessing study of polymeric biomedical devices. Identification of specific device material parameters affected by the selected sterilization protocol. Formulation of surgical cements with improved long term performance. Synthesis of polymeric systems required for hard tissue engineering products. Development of polymeric membranes for therapeutic applications.
Current Projects :
1.- Reprocessing of PVC catheters and canules applied in cardiovascular area

2.- Development of acrylic-based bone cement formulations with other copolymers and antibiotics. Mechanical properties of composite surgical cements

3.- Preparation of bioresorbable polymeric scaffolds for bone tissue engineering

4.- Synthesis of boron-complexed polymeric films for the treatment of endemic diseases

  5.- Polymeric materials for dental applications

6- Organic-inorganic hybrid materials
Objectives: Development of organic-inorganic hybrid materials based on functionalized silsesquioxanes.
Current projects:

  1. Synthesis of polyhedral silsesquioxanes functionalized with OH groups and development of hybrids derived from the reaction with different monomers.

2. Coatings based on functionalized silsesquioxanes on metallic substrates
Scientific Cooperation with the following institutions
Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina


Facultad Regional Concepción del Uruguay, Argentina 

University of Peruggia at Terni, Italy

INSA de Lyon, France

Universidad Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.

University of Valladolid, Spain

University of La Coruña, Spain

University of Alicante, Spain

Institute of Science and Technology of Polymers, CSIC, Madrid, Spain

Politécnico de Milano, Italy

University Carlos III, Madrid, Spain

University of País Vasco, Spain

Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

University of Southern California, Los Angenles, USA

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