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Light Weight Construction

Optimal design of light weight structures requires a combination of analytical methods and simulation tools that give accurate description of material behaviour at both the manufacturing stage and for structural evaluation during loading. The structural loads may range from simple static design loads to dynamic loads such as fatigue and perhaps impact. For preliminary design simplified analytical methods continue to play an important role. Provided these methods are based on a sound theoretical basis and they are applied within their limits of application it is possible to describe sensitivities and to evaluate different fundamental concepts. The development of shear field theory, the description of material loading and draping analysis of composite fabric processes are only some possible examples. The application of advanced higher-order structural theories and finite element based simulation tools to investigate manufacturing processes and structures under static and dynamic loading is the group’s main area of interest. Applications cover lightweight structures from Aerospace, Mechanical and Automotive sectors. With both analytical and Finite Element methods the greatest challenges today are development of new constitutive models for modern materials, new design concepts and realisation of innovative manufacturing techniques. The simultaneous application of these methods allows structures to be optimised at an early stage of development and to be progressively refined using highly sophisticated simulation methods valid for complex loading including impact and crash.

Leichtbaumethodik