Modelling and optimal design of ceramic structures
with defects and imperfect interfaces

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Research AreaFP7-PEOPLE-2011-IAPP Marie Curie IAPP transfer of knowledge programme
Project ReferencePIAP-GA-2011-286110-INTERCER2
CoordinatorProf. Massimiliano Gei (from April 2014, former coordinator Prof. Davide Bigoni)
Project Funding2.39 million euro
Contract TypeIndustry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP)
Start Date2011-10-01
Duration48 months


Ceramic industry is broadly developed in Europe and advanced ceramics are crucial for new technologies and nano-tech applications, so that it may seem surprising that the industrial production of ceramic components is still based on empirically engineered processes, often poorly understood and difficult to control. The project addresses to an in-depth scientific understanding of the production processing with the aim of a production optimization and the development of new technological and industrial strategies.

The proposed INTERCER2 network involves three Academic Institutions (UNITN specialized in Engineering and Computational Mechanics with a specific expertise in ceramics; UoL specialized in Mathematical and Numerical Modelling; AU specialized in Applied Mathematics and Materials Physics) and two Industries (SACMI: a leader Industry operating in the field of ceramics and covering the entire process of ceramic production, from the powder to the final piece and design of the machineries for production; ES: an expert Industry operating in the field of informatics applied to Computer-Aided-Engineering (CAE), Virtual Prototyping (VP), process simulation and the optimization of design and production processes).

The Academia provides the Industry and the laboratories support for the development of new material testing protocols and mathematical models and numerical strategies aimed at the simulation of forming processes, analysis of defect criticality, and improvement of the production technologies. The Industry and laboratories provide the Academia with the experimental data needed for motivating and validating the mathematical models and, more in general, with their manufacturing experience. Industry is actively involved in the program, through participation of SACMI and ES.

The consortium has been created to achieve the following main research targets:
  • Modelling and experimental validation of the forming process of ceramics;
  • Modelling, design and experimental analysis of innovative ceramic products.
The network partners will collaborate through secondment of ESRs, ExRs and MExRs and recruitment of research fellows. In particular, the research targets will be achieved through the following Work Packages:

WP1: Forming ceramics powder;
WP2: Processing of ceramic compounds;
WP3: Enhancing performances of ceramics;
WP4: Modelling of ceramics structures with imperfect interfaces;
WP5: New technological applications;


Prof. Massimiliano Gei
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e Meccanica
UniversitÓ di Trento, via Mesiano, 77 I-38123 Trento (Italia)