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Still Waters

The science of cracks: new research

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Still Waters

Whatever their size, cracks can be bad news. They make planes fall out the sky and bridges fall down. On a more mundane level they trip you up on a badly-maintained pavement.

Now Strathclyde University in Glasgow is claiming a world-first with a centre dedicated to a new science of cracking-up.

The concept of peridynamics - from the classical Greek words for "around" and "force" - emerged from the United States at the turn of the century.

It uses sophisticated computational models to simulate and analyse these fissures that can mean the difference between triumph and disaster.

But the director of Strathclyde's Peridynamics Research Centre, Dr Erkan Oterkus, says cracks are not always a bad thing.


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