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Sandwich constructions

Team:

Yves Klett

Sandwich constructions enable the construction of parts with maximum weight saving potential. At IFB, all aspects of lightweight construction related to sandwich technology are researched:

 

  • Material lightweight design: The right combination of material systems for face sheets, core and bonding layer is crucial for usability and performance, but also handling, endurance and cost of a sandwich part.
  • Constructive lightweight design:  By making the best use of a given material. Good sandwich construction optimally results in a fully stressed design and high weight-specific stiffnesses and strengths.
  • Systemic lightweight design: By global assessment of a complete system a lighter system can be designed even if some components gain mass, e.g. by intelligent integration of additional functionality into these components.

 

                      
                       Figure 1: Enhanced performance without additional weight through sandwich construction.

IFB works in a number of publicly sponsored research projects (Lufo, BMBF, EU, DFG, ZIM) and industrial cooperations on different aspects of design, optimization, manufacture and testing of sandwich structures.


One focus is the development, benchmarking and optimization of innovative core materials, so-called foldcores in comparison with state-of-the-art core types like foams, honeycomb cores and woods.

                    
Figure 2: Microstructured cores folded from different base materials, without need for additional cutting or bonding steps.

Foldcores are manufactured in an isometric and gentle folding process of differing base materials like papers, prepregs, sheet metals or  thermoplastics. By application of a regular folding patterns three-dimensional structures with a number of interesting properties emerge, which are especially suited for new multifunctional applications.


Figure 3: Left: Doubly curved, ventable sandwich shell. Right: Demonstrator realized within the DFG research group HIKE incorporating 12.5m² foldcore sandwich (~300.000 creases).

 

IFB offers unique know-how concerning all aspects of these folded structures:  From design to rapid prototyping, the whole manufacturing chain of a plethora of different structures is realized in-house. Together with the existing simulation capabilities, testing infrastructure and the expertise in fibre-reinforced plastics, ambitious sandwich research projects can be realized.

 

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