High-tech lab courses

In order to illustrate our multiphysics and multiscale approach and give master students the opportunity to manipulate the most advanced techniques that we use in our research, we develop high-tech lab courses to be included in the existing master programs.


All lab-courses are suitable for students from L3 to Master levels having a background in mechanics and wishing to reinforce their skills in their field of competences. Higher grade students in mechanics (PhD) sould prefer modules out of their field of expertise for introductory purposes.



Turbulence and particle transport

Turbulence is a canonical example of multi scale phenomenon. This multi scale character is actually at the very center of the phenomenological theory of turbulence by Kolmogorov. During this lab course, the trainees will be initiated to the PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) measurement technique that provides 2D spatial maps of a flow or to hot wire anemometry. We will focus on the wake behind a simple object like a cylinder. This introduction to major experimental techniques in fluid mechanics (and to their limitations) will be augmented by an initiation to numerical techniques (and the issues associated to them) such as direct numerical simulations, RANS method, or Large Eddy Simulations. View the full description of the Lab-course

Granular and porous materials

In this practical session, we will perform shear tests on a 2D granular media with the help of the device called 1γ2ε. This unique apparatus allows to apply various loading paths on granular assemblies made of rods. By means of a 80 MPixels camera, discrete kinematics field will be assessed and analyzed. Comparisons between experimental and numerical simulations by means of Discrete Element Modeling will also be performed. The multiscale kinematic behavior will then be discussed. View the full description of the lab-course

Mechanics of blood circulation

One of the functions of the vascular system is to bring oxygen to the body via the red blood cells. The vascular system consists of a large number of vessels subdividing themselves in increasingly small vessels, where the distribution in cells is highly heterogeneous. The purpose of this practical work is to measure these heterogeneities in a simplified artificial network, where real blood samples will be injected. The results will then allow comparison with existing models from the literature. View the full description of the lab-course

Dense flows

The aim of this lab-course is to tackle the problem of the modeling of dense gravitational flows dynamics. Dense avalanches of granular materials will be produced and analyzed with the help of a laboratory inclined plane equipped with advanced instrumentation: granular PIV, fringe projection, etc. The experimental granular avalanche-flows will then be reproduced by numerical simulations based on shallow-flow (Saint-Venant) equations. Emphasis will be placed on comparing the propagation and final stopping of laboratory and numerical avalanche-flows, with the objective to infer the relevant rheological parameters of the studied granular fluid. View the full description of the lab-course

Fluid-structure interactions in fibrous materials

The aim of this module is to emphasize the interest of coupling 3D imaging and fine scale fluid flow simulation to estimate the both the microstructures and the permeability of fibrous reinforcements commonly used in fiber reinforced composites or geotextiles. A woven fabric will be subjected to a tensile loading with a mechanical testing machine placed inside a X-ray microtomograph, allowing the 3D in situ observations of the fibrous microstructure of the textile during its deformation. The microstructure will be then finely characterized using 3D image analysis subroutines provided by the freeware ImageJ (Fiji). Therefrom, the permeability of the initial and deformed fibrous reinforcements will be estimated from fluid flow simulation inside the imaged fibrous microstructures using a finite volume CFD software (GeoDict). View the full description of the lab-course

Biobased fibre reinforced composites: processing and mechanics

This practical course is organized in 2 parts. The first one deals with processing of different bio-based materials using different techniques like twin-screw extrusion or thermopressing. Biodegradable polymers and natural fibres will be manipulated. These materials will then be used in a 3D converting process to produce test samples. In the second part of the practical work, the influence of fibre addition in the polymer matrix, on the mechanical properties of the material will be analysed using characterisation methods such as DMA and DSC. This aim of this lab-couse is to experience the different phases of the fabrication of composite materials reinforced with natural fibres and the influence of such reinforcement on the mechanical behaviour of the end product. View the full description of the lab-course

Wave turbulence

Wave turbulence is a statistical state that aims at describing the nonlinear random ensemble of waves as commonly observed at the surface of the ocean. Here we will experiment on a physical model for wave turbulence: the vibrating elastic plate in which a state of wave turbulence is obtained by shaking a thin steel plate at low frequency. In this lab-course, turbulence will be observed and measured using imaging tools, and a numerical simulation of the vibrating plate will be carried out to further investigate the behaviour of wave turbulence. View the full description of the lab-course

Rheology of suspensions

The purpose of this lab course is to discover the mechanisms involved in membrane ultrafiltration processes in relation with the rheological behavior of the aqueous filtered suspensions. During the filtration process under shear flow and pressure forces, the filtered particles accumulate near the membrane surface forming a concentrated layer of a few hundred micrometers. The changes from a dilute phase to a concentrated phase induce a change in the rheological behavior of the suspensions which control the performance of the process. The proposed approach is to combine the characterization of the filtration properties of the suspensions, the in-situ visualization of the accumulated layers and the rheometric behavior of the suspensions. View the full description of the lab-course

Propagation of viscoplastic surges over complex topography

 Viscoplastic, or yield-stress, fluids are involved in numerous geophysical and industrial applications. These materials have the property to behave either as fluids or solids, depending on the applied loading. Due to the coexistence in the flows of fluid and solid zones, whose respective boundaries are a priori unknown, simulating the propagation and deposition of free-surface viscoplastic surges remains challenging, in particular when the basal topography is complex.

The objectives of this lab-course are (1) to perform well-controlled laboratory experiments in which viscoplastic, gravity-driven surges are generated over a complex topography; and (2) to compare experimental results to the predictions of a hydraulic numerical model. Through this comparison, important assumptions concerning the treatment of viscoplastic rheology in the numerical model will be tested. View the full description of the lab-course

Bubble columns and diphasic flows

The objective of this lab is to study experimentally a bubble column. A bubble column is a vertical cylindrical vessel containing a liquid phase where a gaseous phase is injected into the bottom by a gas distributor. This gaseous phase rises through the liquid, and finally escapes through the upper free surface.

Despite their widespread use in industry, the modelling of such devices remains unsatisfactory due to the lack of reliable physical model describing the interactions between phases. As the void fraction of bubbles is high (up to 50%), these are opaque flows, and the standard techniques used in fluid mechanics are no longer useful. We will therefore use an alternative state-of-the-art technique, the optical probe, which allows to obtain time resolved 1D time signals and to measure the void fraction, the bubbles size and velocity distributions. We will therefore be able to check the different models available in the literature and to explore the complexity of two-phase flows. View the full description of the lab-course.