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Probabilistic analysis & design optimization of additively-manufactured lattice structures

ZHM research project
ZHM Miniproject teaser 2019

Figure. Probabilistic analysis & design optimization of additively-manufactured lattice structures. Photo: TUHH/S. Dr├╝cker

Additive manufacturing processes enable the production of complex structures, which can be individually adapted to the respective application. One example is lattice structures, which achieve comparatively high stiffness at low weight. At the same time, they exhibit relatively high energy absorption and are therefore less susceptible to unforeseen loads. Such structures are used in lightweight construction, where the reduced weight conserves resources and thus creates ecological and economic advantages. However, these structures are sensitive to deviations from the ideal geometry, as well as scattering of the material parameters, which in turn depend on the quality of the manufacturing process. These imperfections have a significant influence on the mechanical properties and should already be taken into account in the design of such structures using probabilistic methods.

The ZHM supports a project initiated by PhD students of the working group Structural Optimization in Lightweight Structures and the Institute for Polymer and Composites of the TUHH. Thereby synergies from experiences in additive manufacturing of lattice structures and mechanical characterization of plastics, as well as probabilistic analysis and design optimization can be used. The aim of this research project is to generate a simulation model and to validate it by means of experiments. This model should not only be able to map the complex mechanical behaviour of additive lattice structures, but also to consider the scatter of input variables (material and geometry). Thus, the model enables the design of complex components that are robust against scatter due to the manufacturing process and the material properties.