Application-optimized high-performance composite structures through a system design approach
Lightweight construction is becoming increasingly more important in the aerospace, automobile manufacturing and engineering industries. Fiber reinforced composites (FRC) made of carbon fiber allow a significant weight reduction (by a factor of 4-5 as compared to steel). Currently, fiber composite structures are mainly produced using meticulous manual processes. This results in long process times and reduced process stability. Therefore, the goal is to transition to partly or fully automated production processes.
With the start of large-scale series production of fiber composite structures, production-compatible component designs are moving more and more to the forefront. A key prerequisite for the target system design is an integral approach to the entire manufacturing process. However, an end-to-end manufacturing simulation chain extending from the FRC to the component design is not yet available. This will be developed in the MAI Design project. The process simulation will make a crucial contribution to shaping the development of the automated manufacturing processes.
Figure: Exemplary sequence of a simulation chain
The MAI Design project is structured along the entire design and production process chain for carbon fibers. The aim is to develop a composite and structure concept that is geared towards optimal use of the composite. Joint research is conducted on a broad scale by partners in the automotive, aerospace, and mechanical engineering industries as well as those from engineering firms, software companies, and research facilities. The results will be implemented on a sustained basis by establishing an engineering center, which will offer training and continuing education courses, workshops, seminars and summer school programs in the MAI region.