A sustainable use of natural resources requires the full exploitation of the materials’ mechanical properties in engineering constructions. To achieve this, the group of Structural Integrity focuses on the development and application of damage mechanics models. The aim of the research activities is to provide optimized limit state descriptions for high-end components in mechanical and civil engineering.
A particular challenge herein is scale-bridging the corresponding damage mechanics simulations from the mm scale, including typical laboratory samples, to the m scale which includes full components. An additional research focus is the correlation of toughness properties with component failure characteristics on the basis of damage mechanics simulations.
An important factor hereby is matching experimental results with damage mechanics simulations on the laboratory and the component scale. A validation of damage mechanics methods on industrial application examples shall enable the transfer of these models to the engineering practice. One possibility to achieve this is the derivation of improved engineering design rules on the basis of damage mechanics simulations. By using such improved design methods, a resource efficient exploitation of mechanical properties enables lightweight constructions.
Current research results experience a very positive feedback from science and industry. A recently developed concept for a better exploitation of high strength steels properties was chosen as one of the ten best projects in the category “Steel in Research and Development” of the 2015 Steel Innovation Award ( http://www.stahl-online.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/D502_Stahl-Innovationspreis_2015.pdf ). In one of the corresponding research projects on the application of high strength steels in pressure vessels, the burst pressure of a vessel made of high strength steels was predicted with a deviation of less than 4% using damage mechanics (Project description: http://www.stahl-blog.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/P690_Q.pdf).
The group of Structural Integrity uses the servo hydraulic testing center of the IEHK, which is located in zmb, for the experimental validation. Moreover, modern methods, such as digital image correlation, are used.