Key Research Areas

Fracture mechanical stress analysis and safety assessment of components

Fundamental and applied research in fracture mechanics and classical theory of strength to evaluate the safety, reliability and life time of structural components from various branches as nuclear power plants, gas pipelines, wind turbines, comminution machines, automotives and microelectronics. Development of appropriate failure criteria and failure assessment procedures.

Materials modeling and damage mechanics

Micro structural processes during deformation and failure in engineering materials are theoretically modelled and numerically simulated using constitutive thermodynamics theory, damage mechanics and homogenization methods. The aim is to optimize and evaluate material properties during their production and application under complex in-service conditions. Particularly, the brittle, ductile and the nil-ductile transition failure behaviour in metals, ceramics and semi-conductors is studied.

Smart materials and structures

In high-tech-branches as aeronautics, automotives, mechatronics and micro system technology one aims a smart, self-adapting behaviour of engineering constructions by combining structural, sensoric, actuatoric as well as controlling components. These recent developments need investigations by simulation of coupled mechanical, thermal and electromagnetical behaviour of the smart structures, devises and new smart composite materials. Especially, the fracture, fatigue and damage behaviour of piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials is investigated.

Computational methods in solid and fracture mechanics

Enhancements of numerical methods in solid mechanics (finite element method FEM, boundary element method BEM) for the analysis of crack problems, for implementation of damage laws and for treatment of coupled field problems.

Development of miniaturized materials testing methods

The aim is to determine deformation and failure properties of materials from tiny test specimens of millimeter size, especially the Small Punch Test. This is necessary if i) only small pieces are available, ii) high property gradients exist and iii) localized information is needed. Typical applications are: microelectronic materials, irradiated steels, surface treated metals, weldments, thin films, layers or composite materials.