Our work here is centered on the assessment of a component’s safety and its fitness for purpose in terms of safety-relevant demands under operational loads. The applications range from proving the safety of power station components to confirming the fault tolerances of aerospace components, the life expectancy analysis of components in power stations and vehicles subjected to thermomechanical loads to crash analyses of vehicle components. The focus is on the operational behavior of modern materials as well as joins and hybrid constructions.
The focus of our work lies on further developing fracture mechanical assessment concepts, taking into account the load situation that is relevant to each component and the distribution of material properties and scale/size of the defect. Development work is also carried out on mechanism-based material models for a wide range of applications with which to describe the deformation and failure behavior of components under thermal and mechanical loads. Crash analysis increasingly involves determining the influence of the manufacturing process on the failure behavior of vehicle structures. For completely new material properties we design synthetic meso- and metamaterials, producing them in small samples.
A comprehensive range of testing equipment is available with which to characterize the different materials and components at the relevant temperatures and load speeds. For the investigation of mechanical material properties in small dimensions, for example edge properties, we are continuously developing our experimental technique regarding extremely small volume samples. The experimental results serve as a basis for the development and verification of material models and failure concepts, which can then mathematically describe component behavior.