The focus of our research work is the development of fiber-based, tailored semi-finished products and their manufacturing processes. Not only the investigation of fundamental mechanical relationships based on material properties of composites and their functionalization are decisive for an optimal fiber-reinforced composite component but also an adaptive production process: Automated manufacturing enables reproducible and predictable processes.
By combining such textile semi-finished products with compatible matrix systems, high-performance materials are developed in which the material properties of all individual components can be used synergistically. In order to be able to produce material-efficient components which meet today's demands on resource efficiency and lightweight construction are in the center of our efforts at ITFT: Drastic material savings, if possible, and material usage, if necessary, leads to load-case-adapted components in which the material properties can be optimally used.
Often inspirations for new materials and design concepts at ITFT are extracted from biology in many projects. In close collaboration with biologists from the Universities of Freiburg and Tübingen, biological ideas are analyzed and investigated so that found principles can be transferred in an abstracted form to technical fiber-based components. In recent years the biomimetic approach has already led to the development of some patentable components – for example, a knot structure inspired by a stem-branch-connection or a fluid actuated adaptive fiber-reinforced composite adopted from an insect wing.
The adaptivity of materials, components and their manufacturing processes is of central importance and the goal in all our research projects to increase the efficiency of component development and the conservation of resources as well as to reduce the use of materials for technical components.