The occurrence of liquefaction has more than one harmful effect: the ground suffers a temporary loss of strength, and densification of the sand will also entail permanent settlements, which will also distress any surviving structures.
Water is inherently soft, but don’t let that fool you, in some conditions its power is truly fearsome, as it happens with water hammers.
It would not be very practical to build a full-scale bridge to test whether it works as intended against those loads and that is where simulation comes to the rescue. Principia has carried out studies for two dozen bridges.
In 2003 and 2004 Principia conducted a series of 11 separate investigations, all of them with a strong simulation component, in relation with the Prestige tanker.
Impacts occur all the time. Deliberated or accidental, we want to understand the process and predict its outcome, which is where simulation lends a helping hand.
There is practically no industry or technical field that has not been strongly affected by simulation. But in the case of storage tanks for liquefied natural gas, they would have simply been impossible without it, at least with anything near the level of safety that we demand from them.
Natural catastrophes, particularly earthquakes, have been one of Principia’s key areas of activity. Over the last 40 years we have worked on a couple of hundred projects dealing with seismology and/or earthquake engineering.
An interminable list of technical fields have benefitted from the sheer size of the efforts and investment contributed by the nuclear sector over the years. Numerical simulation is not an exception.
Principia has worked in over 70 projects involving wind turbines. Of those, roughly 75% concerned new designs for towers or foundations, various ground conditions, etc. But the other 25% dealt with problems experienced at existing installations.
Nowadays most industrial processes are amenable to simulation, which can be used to conceive, design, test, optimise, and verify the process and its possible modifications. Solar energy plants are not an exception.