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Light Weight Design

Leichtbau

In close cooperation with the research area “Composites Technology”, the research area “Light Weight Design” at the IFB concentrates on reducing the weight of parts. One focus is the development of analytical calculation procedures which are especially useful for preliminary design. Besides the investigation of analytical procedures, the research area’s second focus is on the simulation of fibre reinforced plastics (FRP).
 
Light Weight Construction
Using analytical methods provides fast while at the same time precise information for evaluating new structural concepts and analyzing the consequences of changes in design on the weight of the structure. The choice of geometry (e.g. spar position, profiling, different design concepts…) and material (stiffness distribution over the cross section, anisotropy, hybrid construction) has a strong influence on load distribution and thus dimensioning and weight. Integrating higher-order theories (warp theory, theory of thin shells, interactions, stability,…) into the analytical calculations results in new findings for optimizing preliminary design in current and future aircraft structures. At the same time, it helps to give more accurate predictions on the weight of the structure at early design stages.
 
Composites Simulation
Besides the investigation of analytical procedures, the research area’s second focus is on the simulation of fibre reinforced plastics (FRP). Simulation methods are continuously improved and developed so that the manufacturing process as well as the behaviour under loading conditions can be modelled correctly and optimized without excessive experimental effort. Validation of analytical and simulation models is done with experimental results from models and specimens constructed and manufactured at the institute. The research area’s fields of activity are also reflected in teaching, where students can achieve knowledge about light weight construction and calculation methods in various lectures throughout the whole course of study.