Structural Dynamics

Structural Dynamics focuses on the dynamic behaviour and failure behaviour of the most varied structures on land and water, for instance bridges, ships and windmill parks at sea. 

Combination of numerical and experimental techniques will give the best result

We help our customers to improve the reliability, safety, performance and service life of structures. We have an expert knowledge on dynamic loading, the response and failure of structures. A combination of theory, numerical and experimental techniques is used to offer a suitable solution.

Having our own well-equipped mechanical laboratory means that practical and theoretical knowledge are merged and we are able to solve the most complex problems.

We can offer safe solutions for innovative structures were no regulations or standards are available for yet. With our measurement equipment and expertise, it is also possible to perform tests on location. 

Three fields

Structural Dynamics is mainly active in the following three fields:

Integrity of maritime and offshore structures

Test at extreme low temperatures

Within the maritime field, we are working on safer and more efficient structures. We develop failure models of various materials, from steel to composite. We analyse structures subjected to dynamic loading caused by for example collisions, waves and wind.

In addition, research is performed on the effect of extreme conditions, like low temperatures and high pressures. The service life of structures is estimated with a combination of structural health monitoring and strength analyses. 

Dynamically loaded buildings and infrastructure

Typical scope of Structural Dynamics

We work on the quantification of loading and the dynamic behaviour of buildings and infrastructure. We focus on mitigating measures to reduce the effect of these dynamic loads.

Models are improved and developed based on scientific knowledge and these models are validated with scaled models and true sized experiments.

Ship vulnerability 

We focus on the vulnerability of mainly naval ships which are exposed to shock, blast, projectiles and fire. We work on detailed models to predict these loading and the impact on the structure. Our experimental facilities are used to validate these models.  


The large vertical shock testing machine in the mechanical laboratory

TNO Structural Dynamics has a well-equipped mechanical laboratory with unique experimental facilities. In the mechanical laboratory we have an extensive set of measurement equipment to measure accelerations, strains, displacements, forces, pressures and temperatures. This covers also optical measurement techniques and high speed cameras. Most of these techniques can also be used in the field. 

The mechanical laboratory has a large vibration table (payload till 1500 kg), a drop tower (drop weight till 12.000 kg) and four universal tensile test benches in the range of 150 kN – 10 MN for static, dynamic and fatigue tests. 

In addition, we are able to apply predefined loads on objects till a mass of 10.000 kg on our shock testing machines. This is among other things important for determining the resistance of structures against underwater explosions. We are also able to perform tests under cryogenic conditions and corrosive conditions. 

Besides our experimental facilities, the department also has several advanced commercial and in-house developed software tools. 

Due to our expert knowledge, software tools and experimental facilities we are able to find solutions for the most complex problems of our customers.  

Want to know more about a collaboration?

The Structural Dynamics lab has a lot to offer. Contact us to see what we can do for you


Ballistics Course

Much can be done in the design of (military) ships, vehicles and aircraft to provide an adequate level of resilience against relevant threats. You can learn all about it in this ballistics course organised... Read more

Expertise groups

Dr Tom Basten

  • Structural Dynamics