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Car Crash Modeling Technology Could Be Used To Predict Offshore Drilling Disasters

Researchers from MIT’s Impact and Crashworthiness Laboratory have discovered that the same type of computer modeling used for testing whether car components can hold their own in a crash could also predict whether pipes will resist or not at offshore drilling sites. The discovery is even more important, as identifying the potential of a pipe to fracture can save the site from an ecological disaster.

This method taken from the automotive industry could combine computer simulations with physical experiments. The same could happen with pipes too, similar to car testing, where the process is as follows: samples from the commonly used material are taken, sprayed with small dots and then bombarded with different loads while being fixed into a machine. Each moment of the impact is recorded on camera and then analyzed using a computer program. So, all the deformations that appear during the test are taken into account.

The researchers have tested this option by simulating the conditions of Deepwater Horizon disaster from 2010 and using a computer model of the drill riser and a reconstruction scene of the accident. Their result was that the exact location and type of the fracture were predicted by the model.

So, we believe this is a wonderful discovery for oil companies. Nice know-how transfer between domains!

What other technologies transferred from the automotive industry to other domains do you know?

[Source: Jalopnik, Photo]

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