MAI Form


Carolin Cichoz

Project volume

2,5 million €


01.11.2014 – 30.04.2017

Project partner
  • Automation W+R GmbH
  • BMW AG
  • Dassault Systèmes Deutschland GmbH
  • SGL Carbon GmbH
  • TU München
  • Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG

Simulation increases material efficiency

The overriding objective of the MAI Form project is to improve the predictive capability for forming processes of composite materials with thermo-viscous properties in high-volume automotive applications. By means of an improved predictability of the production process, manufacturing and development costs can be saved and robust manufacturing processes can be developed. This goal is to be achieved by the development of improved characterization, simulation and validation methods in the MAI Form project.

One way to achieve a robust manufacturing process via precise understanding of the manufacturing processes is to simulate these processes numerically and evaluate the process limitations. To do this, simulation methods for forming procedures as well as for cooling up and down processes need to be developed and finally a closed simulation chain produced. Thus, the aim of this project is to realize this chain simulation in a single software tool in order to ensure applicability in development processes in high-volume automotive production.

Figure: Numerical draping simulation - shear angel distribution near corner geometry

In addition, within the scope of this research project, the input values for the process simulation of semi-finished products need to be studied. To do this, suitable methods for the detection of forming parameters of semi-finished products need to be developed. Based on this, necessary material para­meters for the simulation shall be provided. The characterization tests are also to serve to further develop semi-finished products made from fibers. To validate the results, it shall be possible to record the material behavior precisely during the actual forming process.

Figure: Folding of a thermoplastic FRP-geometry - challenges of complex 3D forming

Demonstrator tests shall be performed in order to provide evidence of all these steps in material development, material characterization, simulation and process validation. All results of the method developments will finally be summarized as guidelines and will thereby ensure transfer for future applications and projects.