J. Antuña, A. Majano-Majano, J.L. Fernández-cabo, J. Rasines

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
This paper presents a new approach to the use of educational test models in the teaching of Structural Mechanics, building on the assumption that recourse to such models improves the comprehension of structural behaviour. The objective of the tool proposed here is efficacy improvement through the visualization of load effects in structural models.

To that end, the software ARAMIS, which allows the monitoring of high-resolution experiments, is employed. This software is a non-contact, material and independent measuring system that provides 3D displacements in models. It permits to obtain both videos and numerical results from tests of model structures, which are recorded with a high-definition camera and subsequently processed, and yields a solution by delivering complete 3D surface, displacement and strain results without requiring many traditional measuring devices.

In addition, the performance of numerical models for the same structures provides other approaches, thus enabling students to deal with facts such as strain and stress from complementary points of view. The results obtained through ARAMIS can be used to improve FE-simulations, so that finite-element simulations may be optimized and become more reliable.

In the present study we have conducted several tests and numerical models of the same simple structures to determine the effects of loads. Results are shown in a dual fashion: numerically (as derived from the numerical models) and visually (by means of high-definition videos capturing the displacements and stress fields in detail). In this way, students not only learn structural facts but can also get familiarized with contemporary presentation procedures in professional environments.

Data of every test have been summarised in a short document containing videos, graphical and numerical tests results.This document should be consulted by students before each theoretical lesson. Next, a questionnaire is administered to help students understand the physical facts, and make teaching more interesting and useful.