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MU tech demonstrate effects of blasts, used by Disney in animation

MU tech demonstrate effects of blasts, used by Disney in animation

A press release states that researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a Material Point Method (MPM) for creating and analyzing blast scenarios. The method, which was created more than 20 years ago, was also used in creating some of the animation for Disney’s most recent Oscar-winning film, Frozen.

A five-year CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation totaling $400,000 dollars has allowed researchers to continue advancing this technology. The initial study on the MPM has been cited more than 400 times and many global research teams have applied the method, said Zhen Chen in the press release. Chen is a C.W. LaPierre Professor of civil and environmental engineering at the College of Engineering at MU.

The MPM is an example of simulation-based engineering science (SBES). These kinds of programs allow researchers to obtain useful information about the effects of fires, explosions, and other real world situations. It gives them an idea of materials and structural designs that are best equipped to handle such impacts. The findings can be validated through laboratory testing before they are employed in full-scale construction.

Disney utilized the Material Point Method to simulate snowball drops, smashes, and effects of people walking through snow.

Chen points out that SBES is considered an indispensable tool for finding solutions for scientific and technological challenges. He hopes that the crossover use of SBES in animation will attract children and inspire them to become the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals.

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