Welding simulations for distortion and residual stress determination

Material behavior considering multiaxial loading

Crack propagation considering complex stresses

Fatigue, Fracture Mechanics

We support you to proof the structural integrity of components of vehicles, plants and mechanical engineering systems and develop measures to improve and to ensure their service performance. Our focus is on the assessment of the behaviour of metal structures and welded constructions under static and cyclic mechanical loads in consideration of the operating temperature. We work with innovative material and fracture mechanics based methods taking into account the interaction of material characterisation, simulation and component tests for the model validation. If necessary, we analyse defects and damages and derive corrective measures.


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Selection of Measurement and Equipment Highlights

Microstructure-based Description of the Formation of Cracks in Welded Joints


Material qualification

Material substitution

Improvement of the operational reliability of components

Assessment and improvement of the endurance of components

Our technical range of services includes:

Development of lifetime prediction models to describe the fatigue behaviour

Assessment of production-related defects e.g. in weld joints or castings and forged components

Micromechanical based simulation of the initiation and growth of cracks from defects

Experimental and numerical fatigue strength analysis of specimens and components under uniaxial and multiaxial mechanical loading

Vibrations and shock tests and experimental modal analysis

Microstructure and failure analysis



Fracture Mechanics

We provide proof for safety, fitness of purpose and endurance of complex and highly stressed components by the use of modern fracture mechanics concepts. On this basis we develop solutions for improved component safety, optimised component design or inspection intervals together with our customers ...



Load-bearing components and structures in all industrial sectors such as automotive, vehicle, railway, aerospace, steel and bridge constructions are exposed to complex stresses. Many technical cases of damage can be attributed to material fatigue due to cyclic mechanical loading. In order to ensure the reliable use of critical components, the assessment of material fatigue is of decisive importance ...


Failure Analysis

We answer questions that occur during the quality assurance phase of industrial production or due to failure during service. The scientific investigation of damage to and failures of metals and metallic components is well established within the Fraunhofer IWM. We will build an expert project team customized for your individual task, which will assess the situation and discuss the next steps with you to reach an effective solution. Because time is such an extremely important factor in damage and failure analysis ...


Publications regarding Fatigue, Fracture Mechanics

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

Selection of Measurement and Equipment Highlights

Electromechanical, servo-hydraulic and resonance testing machines (N to MN) to carry out static and cyclic material and component tests

Equipment to perform fracture mechanical tests (i.e. ASTM E399, E1820, E1921 and E647) over large force and temperature ranges

Multi-axial loading devices (tension-torsion; span) for multiaxial component testing

Air-conditioned shock and vibrations tests

Determination of strains by use of clip-gauges or digital image correlation (DIC) for areal strain measurements

Metallography and fracture surface analysis

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Microstructure-based Description of the Formation of Cracks in Welded Joints

As part of the DFG-AiF cluster project IBESS » Integral fracture mechanics determination of the fatigue strength of welded joints« Fraunhofer IWM has developed a fracture mechanics substitute model for the formation of cracks on the basis of real micromechanical structures, to determine initial crack sizes for macroscopic fracture mechanics lifetime predictions.





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