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03.04.2018 | Materials Technology | News | Onlineartikel

Holistic Materials Characterisation of Plastics and Fibre Composites

Nadine Winkelmann

The Fraunhofer Institutes for Nondestructive Testing IZFP, for Mechanics of Materials IWM, and for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF now jointly offer a comprehensive portfolio for holistic material characterisation of plastics and fibre composites for component design.

Collaborating and networking – this is the contemporary response to the increasingly complex technological and scientific challenges of our times. This is why the Fraunhofer Institutes for Nondestructive Testing IZFP, for Mechanics of Materials IWM, and for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF are now bundling their expertise. Collaboration involves having a scientific approach and being able to apply the industrial solutions achieved. Such networking benefits clients by providing them with a combined, validated concept for their design and measuring methods instead of individual components.

Expertise at three sites

Fraunhofer IWM works in the field of mechanism-oriented material characterisation and modelling. Using micro-sample methods accompanied by numerical simulations, crack formation at the microscopic level can be observed and made available to the numerical simulation. Based on the results of these examinations, Fraunhofer IWM is developing macroscopic material models, implementing user-defined modules in commercially available finite-element applications and making them available for calculating components.

Fraunhofer IZFP’s research focuses on nondestructive characterisation of plastics and fibre composites. High-resolution computer tomography as a reference method enables the analysis of mechanisms of how defects arise, as well as the characteristics of materials at the micro-structure level. In addition, Fraunhofer IZFP's R&D activities focuses mainly on ultrasound, thermography and multi-frequency eddy current methods and their associated testing processes for characterising damage development due to defects in plastics and fibre composite materials. These work steps cover the entire value-added chain of the product lifecycle ranging from material and component development via production monitoring through to operations.

Fraunhofer LBF characterises plastics and fibre composites with regard to their vibration characteristics under real-life application conditions. The resulting parameters are integrated into a concept for durability-focused measurement of structural components made of plastics and fibre composites. Macroscopic and thermographic methods can determine crack initiation and propagation behaviours, as well as hysteretic heating under vibration load. The results can be used to determine interactions between mechanical loads and environmental factors, as well as loading strength, so that they can be considered when designing components.

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