The group Structure Optimization in Lightweight Design was founded in 2016. It is part of the TUHH College of Excellence and co-financed by Airbus. The group deals with
- probabilistic analyses, and
- design optimization
of lightweight structures, in particular
- additive structures ("3D-printed"), and
- fiber composite components.
Due to their layer-by-layer structure, fiber composite structures offer great potential for optimization with regard to weight savings. Even more design freedom is offered by additive manufacturing processes ("3D printing"), as extremely complex shapes can also be produced. This design freedom is exploited by methods of topology optimization, by which material is only provided in the design where it is actually needed. Highly optimized structures such as composite laminates or topologically optimized structures tend to be more sensitive to deviations from the ideal structure, such as manufacturing defects and scattering material properties.
In the SOL working group probabilistic analyses are developed with which the stochastic scattering of the component properties (especially the load-bearing capacity) can be predicted. This scattering is caused by scattering properties of the structure such as material parameters, dimensions and defects, which have to be described efficiently and mathematically. By embedding such methods in the design optimization, the sensitivity of the structure can be considered. The aim is to optimize lightweight structures in such a way that their weight is reduced and at the same time robustness and reliability are increased.