Safe - digital - foresighted!

Dear Customers and Partners of Fraunhofer LBF,

„ “safe – digital – foresighted“, this is the motto with which the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF started its 2018 anniversary year.

When the Laboratory for Structural Durability (LBF) was established in Darmstadt in 1938, it embarked on a future-oriented research path that has lost none of its relevance to date. Right from the start, the scientists focused on the question of how load-bearing structures could be designed to be increasingly lighter yet still cost-effective and safe. Based on this tradition, Fraunhofer LBF has always implemented advanced lightweight design solutions as the basis for successful mechanical engineering products.

This is still true today, but more than ever before it requires a holistic approach that encompasses the different product life phases from design, implementation and operation to recycling. Cutting edge lightweight design solutions are also increasingly based on multimaterial systems. As a result, the hybrid lightweight design system system is also an important research focus for us. Articles about this in the current annual report include the development of an efficient design method enabling the reliable design of highly loaded hybrid joints for plastic-metal components or the development of a concept for an aircraft nose wheel made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic composite (CFRP), with which we want to unlock a lightweight design potential of up to 40 percent. This requires precise knowledge of the influencing parameters relevant for the final structural properties and requires that cost-effectiveness and reliability aspects are taken into account in addition to observing other customer-specific requirements for the functionality of products. Accordingly, we also deal with new manufacturing processes and their influence on final product properties, such as in additive manufacturing and operationally reliable component design. One example of this is a research project sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology on networked product and production engineering using the example of a wide variety of ultra-light metallic vehicle bodies, detailed information for which is also available in this annual report.

Digital of course
With intelligent structural solutions, we help to push the boundaries of what is technically feasible. We are also making a contribution to digitalization by equipping components and systems with additional sensor and sometimes even actuator functions as well as networking them by means of signal processing technology. We combine services in offline and online data acquisition in field operations, in data analysis and data interpretation with the development of cyberphysical testing, analysis and design methods. We produce components which monitor themselves and evaluate their safe remaining service life in advance. And using this data-based knowledge, we derive design and enhancement options for products and processes, contributing within the context of “Industry 4.0” to reducing development times and increasing product quality and efficiency. ACHTUNG: LINKS prüfen!!vorausschauend bewerten. or--primary">Industrie 4.0 Projektübersicht

»With the use of digital methods, we accompany holistically innovative product developments.«
Prof. Dr. T. Melz

Overcoming challenges together
The examples of projects and perspectives show that, in addition to successfully carrying out publicly funded research projects, we also continued our traditionally very close working relationship with private companies last year. Our industrial yield of just over 57 percent proves once again how seriously we take our application-oriented research mission.

The Institute is excellently positioned to continue to promote cross-cutting market and societal topics, such as resource efficiency and emission reduction, e-mobility, autonomous driving or the implementation of cyberphysical systems. All this can only be achieved on the basis of continuous, intensive cooperation with customers and partners from industry and science, which is as applicable now as it was 80 years ago.

Together with you, we want to continue designing product innovations and successful solutions for the market in the future. As a neutral partner and R&D consultant, we will support you along a broad chain of development and added value. Simply give us a call!

Prof. Dr. Tobias Melz


Director Fraunhofer LBF