Climate Change Adaptation for Infrastructure
“How will infrastructure need to adapt for climate change?”
Climate change is already having drastic effects all over the world. From rising sea levels to increased flood frequencies to omnipresent droughts, things are changing for sure. As a result, we will have to change the way we use our infrastructure to meet the needs of the future. To illustrate, let’s take buildings as an example. Because of the effects of climate change, newer buildings must now use less water as well as be able to withstand all forms of drastic weather conditions. By undergoing climate change adaptation for infrastructure, we can prevent losses from further environmental catastrophes.
“How can we classify heat flow without knowing the area?”
Heat flow is usually thought to be how fast heat can be transferred through a given volume. However, sometimes we may not know about the surface area of our system. So how can we use our scientific mindset to find out? Well, what if we were to simply make a new property, which only classified heat flow for a given length? This is known as a Heat Flux and is applied in engineering systems all over the world.
Small Modular Reactors
“How can we make smaller reactors?”
When we think of Nuclear Engineering, we probably think about these big massive infrastructure projects. However, is it possible to make smaller versions? Well, thanks to continual investments in research by scientists and engineers, smaller reactors that can be built in a plant and assembled on site known as Small Modular Reactors, which have increased containment efficiency and heightened nuclear security.
“How can we build products so that they work as a general function?”
In the past, most products were built to a user’s specifications. However, many are now built with general guidelines and then sold to a company. These are known as turnkey projects and are prominent in the solar industry.
“What happens when an object experiences multiple types of loading simultaneously?”
Objects are subjected to loading all the time, whether it be torsion or bending. However, sometimes objects have to experience both at the same time. So what can we do to analyze these cases? Well, Engineers have developed a technique known as combined loading which takes into account both factors and produces a more accurate output.
“What is the measure of energy in a strained material?”
When springs are stretched, potential energy is added into their bodies. A similar phenomenon happens when one stretches a solid object. Inside their body will be a value known as distortion energy and is the basis for evaluating the von Mises yield criterion.
Von Mises Stress
“How can we more accurately predict an object’s failure?”
One of the most important duties of a design engineer is to ensure that objects do not fail. However, classical failure theory does not always suffice. Instead, we must use more advanced concepts. One example of this is the Von Mises Stress, which is characterized by a superposition of all of the stresses on the object. If the Von Mises Stress is greater than the yield stress, then failure will occur. The formula for Von-Mises Stress is given by sigma_v = sqrt (sigma_1^2+sigma_2^2+sigma_3^2-sigma_1*sigma_2-sigma_2*sigma_3-sigma_1*sigma_3), where sigma_v is the Von Mises Stress and sigma_1,sigma_2, and sigma_3 are all stress superposition values. The Von Mises Stress can be visualized as an ellipse in 2 and 3 dimensions.