Virtual Vehicle

Mechanics & Materials

Mechanics & Materials

Modern vehicles require innovative concepts in automotive engineering. In the development of complex and sophisticated designs, realistic computer-aided modeling plays a crucial role. With such modeling, it is possible to improve the economic feasibility significantly - in terms of cost & time - and thus to gain competitive advantages.

Area "Mechanics & Materials" focuses on both the improvement of existing methods and processes, and on investigating new strategies and methods in the fields of structural mechanics and vehicle safety, material technologies, lightweight construction and vehicle dynamics. The key objectives are to increase the prediction capability of the simulation in order to allow for more precise statements in the early phases of the development process, and to optimally combine simulation and experimental methods in order to take advantage of both methodologies.

Mechanics, as a basic discipline, addresses many fundamental issues in vehicle development.

Area "Mechanics & Materials" deals with the following research topics that are closely interlinked in the individual projects:

  • Vehicle Safety
  • Materials & Forming Technologies
  • Composite Materials & Lightweight Structures
  • Vehicle Dynamics - Automotive Applications
  • Vehicle Dynamics - Rail Applications



Vehicle Safety

"Vehicle Safety" aims to develop methods to improve the active and passive safety of vehicles. Here, the emphasis is placed on constantly improving the forecasting ability of numerical methods in the field of explicit finite element simulation. This includes the development of methods for the preparation of reactive movements for human models, as well as the combination of different simulation tools for the integrated simulation of the a process chain for integral safety. The generation of innovative development strategies for use in validation and the security of safety-relevant functions represents a further focus. In this context, simulation and test methods are being developed and combined to obtain cost and time-optimal methods with the appropriate prediction quality...Further Information

Materials & Forming Technologies

The research activities in "Materials & Forming Technologies” focus on illustrating the nonlinear material properties for the different simulation disciplines, such as crash simulation and sheet metal forming and its associated joining technique. These include, for example, the illustration of the manufacturing process and its impact on the material or the heavily loaded component, and the development of new methodologies for the mapping of connecting components in order to reduce the computation time while simultaneously increasing the prediction quality. The application-oriented material characterization for highly dynamic processes represents another focus of this research group. The methods developed are applied to materials with a high lightweight potential, thereby enabling the cost-effective development of new car body concepts with a significant reduction in body weight....Further Information

Composite Materials & Lightweight Structures

The increasing demand for light materials that are also sturdy and resilient provides the primary impulse for "Composite Materials and Lightweight Structures", which deals mainly with lightweight technologies, alternative connecting technologies and the crash behavior of fiber-reinforced plastics (FVK). Among other enhancements, borrowing concepts from nature will help improve components and structures significantly in terms of weight and stiffness...Further Information


Vehicle Dynamics - Automotive Applications

The area "Vehicle Dynamics - Automotive Applications" focuses on research activities in the field of driver and driving style simulation, as well as on classical vehicle dynamics. The focus is on developing methods in the field of vehicle dynamics and load distribution by considering both numerical and experimental methods. As an interface between vehicle and track, the tire plays a special role in this context. The objectification of subjective comfort aspects represents another research field of this area....Further Information

Vehicle Dynamics - Rail Applications


The  “vehicle dynamics – rail applications“ team dedicates its comprehensive system knowledge to actual challenges within the rail system. To achieve quiet, economic and reliable future railways we focus on an overall examination of the railway system. The extensive knowledge from all relevant areas of expertise guarantees that vehicle, vehicle-track interaction and track is sufficiently considered in all research activities...Further Information