LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN CONCEPTS
Modern materials and lightweight design concepts such as composites, cellular materials or sandwich structures have a high potential of improving the performance of a product. Appropriate modeling is crucial to fully exploiting this potential. But it requires special modeling know-how due to the complex response exhibited by these materials and structures. Our long-time experience in the field and our relations to notable international research institutions ensures the application of state-of-the-art methods and research findings.
Composites such as carbon or glass fiber reinforced polymers have found their application in almost any branch of industry. Other than conventional materials, composites can be tailored to the requirements of a specific application by using computer simulations already in early design stages.
We provide analyses of composite components based on profound modeling knowledge and are able to support you during the conception phase of your product, for example in choosing the right material system or developing a concept for putting the composite's properties to optimal use.
Lightweight structures pose a special challenge to Finite Element modeling. In addition to the global response of a structure, careful analysis of local details, such as areas of load introduction or localized instabilities, can be crucial for reliable predictions. We are able to supply you with the whole range of modeling techniques available for characterizing local phenomena, from multi-scale modeling, to submodeling, and to unit-cell analysis.
Cellular materials are a special class of materials that are often found in nature (bone, wood, cork, etc.) but are also being increasingly used in technological applications (e.g. as sandwich cores, as packaging material, for crash protection, or thermal/acoustic insulation). The properties of these materials (high energy absorption, excellent damping properties and formability) are mainly influenced by their micro-structure. Our past and ongoing research projects in this field documented by numerous publications make us a competent partner for any application of cellular materials.
MODERN FAILURE CRITERIA AND DAMAGE MODELS
Modern materials like advanced fiber reinforced polymers exhibit much more complex failure behavior than conventional materials. Appropriate failure criteria and damage models are necessary in order to accurately predict whether or not a component meets the required specifications. In addition to predicting the onset of damage (e.g. delamination), modeling the non-linear response due to progressive damage is a relevant aspect of composite simulations, for example in crash or impact analyses.
In close cooperation with our partner institutions we are able to advise you regarding the choice of proper failure criteria or damage models, experimentally determine the necessary material parameters, and perform appropriate simulations.