Cables, Hoses and Flexible Structures

Virtual assembly planning requires a fast and physically correct description of the behavior of cables and hoses, such as those laid in the engine compartment of a vehicle or mounted as "dress packs" on industrial robots. 

For the assembly simulation with IPS Cable Simulation, we have developed special nonlinear structural models (discrete Cosserat rods) combining innovative methods from discrete Lagrange mechanics and discrete differential geometry. With our discrete rod models we are able to calculate the deformation of cables and hoses physically correct and interactively. The latest developments allow the determination of the stress under dynamic loads with the module IPS Durability & Dynamics. To this end, we are further developing the basic technology approaches created in the department in the DDA-Flex project together with the Fraunhofer-Chalmers-Centre for Industrial Mathematics FCC, fleXstructures Gmbh and IPS AB. 

For the practical use of the IPS software, it is important that the simulation models be provided with data. The MeSOMICS® measuring machine developed by us offers the optimal solution for this.

Simulation of Flexible Surface-Like Components and Flexible Flat Cables

In addition to ordinary cables and hoses, there are also numerous flexible "flat" (i.e. surface-like) components in vehicles, such as headliners or interior trim panels, whose assembly or disassembly (e.g. for maintenance work) one would like to simulate interactively with the IPS software. Together with German and Swedish vehicle manufacturers, we have also developed comparably good solutions for this together with the FCC. Cosserat surface models and innovative methods of nonlinear structural mechanics provide the solid basis, and fast numerical methods enable the real-time calculation of the large spatial deformation of flexible flat components in virtual assembly. Using the same technology, we simulate flexible flat cables (FFCs), which play an important role for many products in consumer electronics or computer technology.

Flexible Flachbandkabel
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Flexible Flachbandkabel werden beispielsweise in der Computerhardware oder Unterhaltungselektronik verbaut. Wir simulieren flexible Flachbandkabel als elastische Streifen mittels geometrisch exakter Cosserat-Schalen.

Example Projects


Project »THREAD«

Within the framework of the EU doctoral programme, 14 young researchers work at twelve universities and research institutions from eight European countries. Our institute has a central position in the programme.


Project »UrWerk«

In the MAVO project »UrWerk« we develop company-specific data spaces in the field of material properties for accelerated product development.


Project »ProP4CableSim«

In the project »ProP4CableSim«, our researchers are working on predicting the elastic properties of cable systems.


Project »BordNetzSim3D«

In the project »BordNetzSim3D«, we are working on providing a fully digitalized platform and toolbox for the first time that will enable companies to develop simulation-based vehicle electrical systems.