In our research, we use numerical models to describe the mechanical behavior of materials and structures in various engineering applications. The aim is always to optimize the material and structural compositions in the design in such a way that properties can be improved and resources conserved.
This applies in particular to composite materials and composite structures, which are increasingly used in many technically relevant applications in civil engineering, mechanical engineering and aerospace technology. These are characterized by improved mechanical or thermal properties compared to the individual constituents. Composite materials and composite structures are increasingly used in lightweight construction, for example, because they have a high load-bearing capacity with low density - and thus low weight - which makes sustainable resource-saving construction methods possible. For some time now, we have also been focusing our research on renewable raw materials such as paper and cardboard, which can also be regarded as composites of fibers or fiber networks and pores.
The challenge in modeling composites is that the macroscopic material behavior at the structural level is significantly influenced by the properties of the individual constituents as well as the topology and geometry of the microstructure. In order to be able to take this influence of the microstructure into account, we pursue multi-scale approaches based on numerical homogenization methods.