TopComposite – Anisotropic topology optimization for extremely lightweight truss structures with improved intersection point design


In topology optimization, numerical simulations are used to remove less stressed (i.e. inefficient) material from a component. In this way, material can be saved in component production and material costs can be reduced accordingly. Furthermore, components can be made lighter, resulting in fuel savings in the automotive or aviation sector, for example. Topology optimization as a design tool is therefore particularly useful in the production of extremely lightweight truss-like structures.

For the production of complex-shaped components, as they result from topology optimization, fiber placement processes such as the Wet Fiber Placement process developed at IVW are particularly suitable. The process enables load-adapted placement of the fibers. This makes the best use of the composite properties.

The topology optimization used at IVW does therefore not only optimize the component shape, but also the local fiber orientation within the component. The newly developed optimization algorithm also identifies these component areas, in which a second layer with a different fiber orientation is required instead of just one (unidirectional) fiber orientation, and adds material there (Figure 1). This improves the design in areas where the trusses meet, so that higher stiffnesses can be achieved with the same weight and material usage.

The project "TopComposite – Topology-optimized and resource-efficient composites for mobility and transport" is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (funding reference 03XP0259).



Maximilian Eckrich

Scientific Staff Digitalized Process & Material Development

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