Lightweight construction is considered a key technology to use resources more efficiently and to produce high-quality products. In the picture: Carbon fiber is used, for example, for vehicle components. We calculate the most effective material properties.

Lightweight Construction and Insulation Materials

This main focus is on functional design of fiber and particle reinforced lightweight components and insulating materials.

 

Lightweight Construction

In lightweight construction – as well as in the automotive and consumer segments (e.g., drill housings) – fiber reinforced plastics are increasingly replacing metals as the work material. Predicting the strength and damage effects of these components regarding the directional dependency of the mechanical material characteristics is complicated. Therefore, complex multiscale simulations are required for accurate predictions. The computational time (CPU time) and the computer memory requirements are very high for these multiscale simulations.

To reduce these high computational efforts, we are working on methods on the basis of so-called configurational forces. With these forces, macroscopic indicators can be defined, that will allow to take into account the microstructure precisely only in necessary subdomains of the component.

Insulation Materials

Insulation materials are highly porous fibre structures or foam structures, which should exhibit as low as possible heat conductivity on the one hand, but on the other hand they have to be permanently stable, too. The ideal choice of material structure demands therefore the determination of the different material properties and the quantitative validation of the conflicting criteria. The part of mathematics dealing with effective material properties of porous media is the theory of homogenization. The effective material properties are computed as solutions of ''cell-problems'', which are formulated on representative elementary volumes.

Recently we succeeded in developing and analysing an efficient algorithm which allows to compute the effective thermal conductivity for highly porous insulating materials. These material are for example metal- / plastic-foam or glass-/ rock-wool, which are used for modern heat exchangers or rather for insulation.

Example Projects

 

Optimization of Doors by Means of Simulation

The demands on doors with regard to design and functionality relate to very different aspects. In various projects with the doors manufacturer Biffar, we create solutions through simulation.

 

Residual Stresses in Aluminum-Silicon Cast Alloys

The project investigates Al-Si cast alloys, which are used e.g. for cylinder heads and spherical houseing.

 

Adaptive Approximation Methods for the Multiscale Simulation of Composites

In lightweight construction, fiber-reinforced plastics replace more and more metals as a material. The prediction of the strength and the degradation behavior of these components is complicated, which is why complex multiscale simulations are necessary for precise prediction.

 

Structural Optimization in Mechanics and Acoustics

The calculation of the acoustic properties - starting from the microstructure - opens up new possibilities for material optimization.

 

Adhesive Connections for Plate and Slice Components

The project was designed and optimized as easy as possible for gluing connections for plate and slice components.

 

Optimization of Thermal Insulation Materials

Thermal insulation materials are highly porous fiber or foam structures. The focus of our research and development is on multi-scale modeling and simulation.

 

Simulation of Mechanical Textile Properties

The focus in this area is on simulation methods that allow the efficient prediction of the behavior of woven and knitted fabrics.

 

Simulation Fiber Boards

Together with our project partners, we develop basic principles for the production and the strength calculation of light MDF boards.