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Engineering Dynamics

Contact Information

James D. Walker, Ph.D.
Engineering Dynamics
(210) 522-2051

Engineering dynamics specialists study the nonlinear response of materials (solids and fluids), structures, and natural and engineered systems—in particular, the behavior of materials and structures subjected to large deformations at high strain rates—often to failure.

Image: SwRI personnel use an integrated approach—experiments, numerical simulations, 
 						and analytical modeling—to understand and provide solutions to client problems.

Click image for enlarged view.

SwRI personnel use an integrated approach—experiments, numerical simulations, and analytical modeling—to understand and provide solutions to client problems.

Integrated Approach to Engineering Dynamics

To understand and solve problems for clients, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) uses an integrated approach including:

  • Experiments
  • Analytical modeling
  • Large-scale numerical simulations

SwRI engineering dynamics research includes:

  • Fundamental investigations
  • Concept feasibility
  • Applied experimental studies
  • Applied analyses
  • Developmental studies
  • Software development and applications

Summary of Engineering Dynamics Expertise

The SwRI staff use their depth of experience, capabilities, and creativity to solve problems utilizing state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and computational software.

  • Weapons Effects
    • Warhead modeling
    • Blast effects
    • Full-scale bomb (arena) testing
    • Mine blast analysis & testing
    • Chem-bio agent defeat
    • Structural dynamic analysis
    • Design trade-off analysis
    • Transient loads structural testing
    • Fluid-structure interaction
    • Fragility function development
    • Security engineering
    • Safety analysis
  • Terminal Ballistics Effects
    • Penetration mechanics
    • Armor mechanics
    • Armor design & testing
    • Hypervelocity impact analysis & testing
    • Ballistic modeling
    • IED modeling and testing
    • Concept and package evaluation
    • Product improvement
    • Birdstrike and foreign object testing
  • Material Response and Characterization
    • Dynamic loading and material deformation
    • Armor and penetrator materials
    • Computational constitutive modeling
    • Failure initiation and propagation
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
    • Parallel computing
    • Code development
    • Uncertainty analysis
    • Fluid-structure interaction
    • Multiphase flow
    • Free surface flow
    • Subsurface flows
    • Particle / droplet dynamics
    • Dispersion processes
    • Turbomachinery analysis
    • Gas dynamics
    • Space weather
    • Turbulence modeling

Ballistics and Explosives Range

SwRI operates and maintains the Ballistics and Explosives Range on the San Antonio campus. This 10-acre facility permits a wide variety of experimental programs to be conducted, including:

  • Explosive loading hazards evaluation and mitigation
  • Foreign object damage
  • Ballistic impact
  • Armor testing
  • Hypervelocity impact

SwRI technicians provide expert support for handling explosives, firing gas and powder guns, and collecting high-rate electronic data. A complement of equipment—including an on-site machine shop, digital data acquisition and transient recorders, high-speed imaging equipment, and data processors—supports range activities.

Image: aluminum targets

Sectioned aluminum targets after impact by a 7.62-mm APM2 bullet

SwRI also operates a remote ballistics and explosives range, where the explosive limit is 1,000 pounds (TNT equivalent). Experiments range from improvised explosive device (IED) tests on full-scale vehicles, to 500-pound Air Force bomb tests on simulated bunker targets, to detonations of up to 1,250 pounds of ammonium nitrate/fuel oil (ANFO) simulating terrorist threats on buildings.

Hydrocodes and Computational Fluid Dynamics Codes

State-of-the-art hydrocodes and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes are used routinely to analyze and solve problems for clients. Three Beowulf cluster systems support SwRI computational activities.

Related Terminology

weapons effects  •  terminal ballistics  •  penetration mechanics  •  armor mechanics  •  material response  •  numerical simulation  •  transient dynamics  •  computational fluid dynamics  •  CFD  •  homeland security

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.