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GRK 2078

Fiber reinforced polymers receive a lot of attention from industry and research due to their outstanding properties that have the possibility of creating revolutionary lightweight technologies. This affects transportation vehicles, such as cars, trucks, trains and airplanes and other products of daily life. This is why it is the main objective of the International Research Training Group (IRTG) – registered under GRK2078 – to train postgraduate engineers for the development of innovative lightweight technologies and to develop robust integrated engineering strategies.

CoDiCoFRP stands for Continuous-discontinuous long fiber-reinforced polymer structures. These structures combine the design freedom of discontinuous- and the high stiffness and strength of continuous fiber-reinforced polymers. However, there is still a lack of proven concepts for the manufacturing, modeling and dimensioning of CoDiCoFRP. The main advantage of DiCoFRP is their bulk material flow capability, which - compared to CoFRP - increases the design freedom for components significantly. The benefit of CoFRP is the high load-bearing capacity, which is much higher compared to DiCoFRP. From an engineering point of view, an optimal combination of design options on the one hand and high stiffness and strength on the other hand can be obtained by combining DiCoFRP with local continuous fiber reinforcements (CoDiCoFRP).

 

Figure 1: Terminology of CoFRP, DiCoFRP and CoDiCoFRP

The research program is implemented in four interacting main research areas: Characterization, Simulation, Technology and Design. The research areas Characterization and Simulation include methods of materials science, mechanics and computational science. The research areas Technology and Design focus on processing technologies, strategies and quality control, design and optimization methods. 

Objectives

The main objectives within the research areas Characterization and Simulation are to connect fluid-type models downstream with solid-type simulations and to generate a robust, mechanism-based process simulation of the whole processing route. Experimental characterization of the composites on both the macroscopic and the microscopic level allow for the explanation of the relations between microstructure and the resulting structural properties of DiCoFRP and CoDiCoFRP, as well as the validation of the computational models.
Within the research areas Technology and Design, the main objectives are the understanding and the optimization of the integrative process chain and the further development of handling, positioning and manufacturing strategies as to CoDiCoFRP. Additionally, robust design rules and quality assurance strategies will be established.

Further information about the project can be found on the web presence of GRK2078 under http://www.grk2078.kit.edu/index.php.

 

 

The funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG) is gratefully acknowledged.