Composite Materials

We investigate the relationships between the structure and properties of composite materials with polymer, ceramic and metal matrices, in order to assess their operational behavior. Our testing concepts account for microstructure and real loads. Properties of specimens are transferred to components through a combination of experimental and numerical methods. Newly developed material models enable us to predict the operational and failure behavior of composites and components and subsequently save time and money during material and component development.

What we offer

  • Mechanical evaluation of composites with polymer, ceramic and metal matrix, GFRP, CFRP, CMC, MMC as well as foamed and cellular materials
  • Development of specific experiments
  • Numerical modeling to determine microstructure-property relationships for prediction and optimization of material behavior
  • Development and implementation of matched material models for composites, taking into account all relevant environmental and loading scenarios for use within common FEM systems
  • Probabilistic material and component simulation
  • Simulation of failure and application behavior of composite components

Fraunhofer IWM video series: Evaluation of deformation and failure behavior of materials and components to improve safety and reliability

Dr. Michael Luke

Global and local material behavior of fiber reinforced plastics



Design of polymeric materials for acoustic application


Multifunctionality is an increasingly important aspect in the design of materials. Engineering materials do not only need to perform in their mechanical function but also need to satisfy non mechanical or acoustic requirements. Within the context of a Fraunhofer internal project, polymeric materials with and without fiber reinforcement are developed and optimized with respect to their acoustic performance. For this purpose, the mechanical and acoustic response of...


Safe application of composite materials – mechanical characterization


The mechanical properties of composite materials with polymer, metal or ceramic matrices are measured under operational conditions – be it quasi-static, cyclical or dynamic loads under tensile, compressive, shear or flexural loads. We perform standardized tests and can define testing concepts that are appropriate to the particular demands of the materials...


Numerical simulation of composite materials and components


Numerical simulation is an important tool with which to reduce the experimental costs associated with material and component development. Simulations of the microstructure of composites reinforced with fibers and particles make it possible to reliably predict and optimize the thermal and mechanical properties of modern materials such as long-fiber thermoplastics (LFT) and fiber ceramics. Component properties are modified in component simulations to ...


Characterization and modeling of creep in composite materials


Composite materials with a thermoplastic matrix have a range of attractive properties, but are subject to creep deformation at higher temperatures. The creep behavior of fiber-reinforced polymers can be determined in retardation trials under tensile, compressive and flexural loads in a controlled atmosphere (temperature and humidity) according to DIN EN 843. Displacement transducers or optical measuring techniques continuously ...


Testing concepts for ceramic composite materials


The inherent homogeneity and anisotropy of ceramic composites (CMC) makes it a challenge to determine the material parameters needed for component design. The latest developments such as short fiber reinforced CMCs, extreme operating conditions and manufacturing-related limitations to sample geometry mean that CMCs need to be tested and assessed in modified trials such as diametral compression tests. Together with ...




Probabilistic material and component simulation


Many composites, such as those reinforced with short or long fibers or solid foams, have a marked disordered microstructure and, as a result, demonstrate widely varying material behavior. Modern probabilistic simulation methods on the basis of the known variance of microstructural properties can reliably predict the expected variance of material properties. Similarly, a probabilistic component simulation can be used to predict the variance in component ...



Composite Materials publications


Contributions to scientific journals, books and conferences as well as dissertations and project reports...