The research of the Steel and Composite group is both fundamental and applied. For proper modelling, projects consists of an experimental, a numerical and an analytical part. The research is performed by PhD students and by research staff within various projects. The group participates in many international research projects within the framework of particular programs (e.g. Research Fund for Coal and Steel - RFCS). The group has well recognized expertise in the static and fatigue behavior of structural components, modelling of joints, stability of plated elements and structures,  and behavior of  composite structures.

Research topics:

  • Connections and joints, beam-to-column joints, tubular joints
  • Slip resistant connections
  • Behavior of injected bolts and composite slabs
  • Fatigue, crack propagation and brittle fracture
  • Structural design and modeling of buildings, towers for wind towers and civil engineering structures
  • Static and fatigue design of bridges (incl. orthotropic decks)
  • Transportation pipelines (incl. clad pipe reeling)
  • The use of very high strength steel in civil engineering structures

In the research topics mentioned, our research group has built up a high standard international reputation. These topics are of vital importance for the development of the completive market position of the steel industry. The present knowledge is widely used for production development and from that activity industry puts new questions in return to our research group.
Our high standard international reputation may be illustrated by the fact that most of our research results in the field of structural connections and on fatigue behavior of bridge decks form the basis for the European design standard EC3-Eurocode for the Design of Steel Structures. All research subjects are well developed but still have potential for further development.
New questions regularly arise from the use of structures in practice, which often creates the start of a new research. Examples are the development of modern types of connections (plug and play connections, use of adhesives), the development of the integral bridge design concept to avoid high maintenance costs of the bearings, reeling and unreeling of tight-fit-pipes ( carbon steel pipes with a corrosion protective steel lining) to accommodate new methods of installation of these pipes on the ocean floor and the development of methods to evaluate the structural safety of steel structures of which the structural designs have to follow completely the functional design (e.g. optimal design of production plants for oil and gas and the design of greenhouses for crop production taking the environmental requirements into account.
The use of higher strength steel grades brings forward a new structural  solutions for the construction sector, for example in hybrid girders, towers for wind turbines or in long span trusses. Research in this field is focused on required and available deformation capacity especially in joints and  connections to ensure adequate structural safety.

In the field of fatigue damaged orthotropic bridge decks, the development of rational repair methods is a complete new field of research. The use of composite action between the (repaired) steel structure and for instance a very high strength fiber reinforcing concrete is promising.

  •  Behavior of high strength steel web shear panels
  •  Integrity of welded joints made of steel grades S690 and S110
  •  Behaviour of high strength steel moment connections
  • ·Renovation techniques for fatigue cracked orthotropic steel bridge decks
  • ·Critical performance of very high strength steel for structural applications
  • ·Buckling test of high strength steel and very high strength steel columns
  • ·Reeling of tight fit pipe