Professor Nikbin Holds a Royal Academy Chair in 'Structural Integrity' and has worked in the Mechanics of Materials Division for over 40 years. The group have built up experience in ‘Structural Integrity’ of metallic and composite materials based research, involving experimental testing, numerical modelling and the verification of component lifing methods which are associated with failures due to brittle, ductile, fatigue and creep and environmental fracture mechanisms. The main aim has been directed towards developing techniques for predicting failure using fracture mechanics, continuum damage mechanics and micro to meso-scale modelling techniques, which are validated through appropriate experiments.
The structural integrity group and the EDF Energy High Temperature Centre headed by Prof. Nikbin has collaborated with industry and international research establishments on numerous multi-disciplinary projects dealing with different aspects of fracture occurring at a range from cryogenic to very high temperatures. In particular, the main impetus has been in the field of high temperature creep/fatigue and environmental crack growth by considering the experimental, metallurgical and computational multi-scale modelling, virtual testing and progressive failure analysis approaches associated with the relevant damage mechanisms. A considerable knowledge base has been accumulated on advanced steels, single crystals and high temperature protective coatings as well as composites materials. The consequent product of this research has been the development of life assessment codes that have been adopted by a range of industrial bodies. Substantial input has been made to a number of codes including BS7910, ASTM, ASME, API, British Energy R6/R5 codes, ISO standards dealing with residual stresses and component creep/fatigue testing and also the design code for the ITER super magnet structure which includes fatigue fracture criteria for cracked components. In addition the fracture mechanics life assessment approaches have been continually developed to improve safe prediction capabilities.