Smart Composites & Nondestructive Testing

From multifunctional material to system – composite materials allow a variety of functional properties to be combined with optimum structural performance. This makes them a key element of mechatronics and adaptronics, a rapidly advancing field of research today. The main challenge is to master the complex property profile of these materials along the entire development chain from design and production to system integration and testing of the finished component. This is where the research activities of the competence field Tailored & Smart Composites start: The focus is on understanding the relationships between structure, process, and the resulting properties of multifunctional composites.

We are working on the development of new methods for non-destructive testing of composite materials and we integrate sensors or actuators in fiber-reinforced components so that they can adjust adaptively to their environment. After their design by finite element methods, we can produce such materials using standard methods, process them into components or semi-finished products and comprehensively characterize both, the material properties and the special functions.

PD Dr. rer. nat. habil.

Martin Gurka

Deputy Research Manager Materials Science & Manager Smart Composites & Nondestructive Testing

Special Expertise

  • „One Stop Shop“: design - simulation - realization - testing
  • Combination of composite know-how with smart materials expertise
  • Hybrid composites based on polymer blends
Economic Sectors Applications (Examples)
Automotive & Aeronautics Adaptive aerodynamic elements
Engineering and systems engineering Integrated sensors
Medical engineering X-ray-transparent implants

Materials and Questions

Typical Materials

  • Composites
  • Piezo ceramics
  • Shape memory alloys

Typical Questions and challenges on the way from material to system are...

  • the effcient theoretical and experimental description of the complex property profiles of multifunctional materials
  • the development of suitable measuring and testing equipment and associated methods for multiphysical material characterization
  • the development of complexity-adapted, cross-scale material models for processing and component design

Projects in this field

Publications from the IVW papers in this field of competence

  • Steidle, K.

    Bewertungsmethode von Füllstoffen für elektromagnetische Anwendungen in thermoplastischen Verbundwerkstoffen

  • Kelkel, B.

    On the influence of source depth and source-to-sensor distance on the acoustic emission signatures of damaging events in cross-ply carbon fibre-reinforced plastics

  • Nissle, S.

    Zur Kraftübertagung zwischen NiTi-Formgedächtnislegierungen und Faserkunststoffverbunden in aktiven Hybridstrukturen

  • Krooß, T.

    Entwicklung thermoplastischer Faserkunststoffverbunde aus carbonfaserverstärkten PPS/PES-Blends

  • Hübler, M.

    Methodik zur Auslegung und Herstellung von aktiven SMA-FKV-Hybridverbunden

    External Publications Smart Composites & Nondestructive Testing

    Physics of Multifunctional Materials
    Flyer (PDF)

    Passive thermography for detection of damaging events during quasi-static tensile testing“ (English), Key Engineering Materials


    A new algorithm for uncertainty quantification for thermal conductivity measurement on polymers with the Haakvoort method using differential scanning calorimetry considering specimen height and real contact area

    Full factorial analysis of the accuracy of automated quantification of hidden defects in an anisotropic carbon fibre reinforced composite shell using pulse phase thermography

    Electrochemical Surface Structuring for Strong SMA Wire–Polymer Interface Adhesion

    Experimentally characterization and theoretical modeling of the electro-thermomechanical coupling of unimorph Shape Memory Active Hybrid composites

    Inline quantification and localization of transverse matrix cracking in cross-ply CFRP during quasi-static tensile testing by a joint event-based evaluation of acoustic emission and passive IR thermography


    3D X-ray Microscopy as a Tool for in Depth Analysis of the Interfacial Interaction between a Single Carbon Fiber and an Epoxy Matrix after Mechanical Loading

    Possibilities and limitations of passive and active thermography methods for investigation of composite materials using NDT simulations

    In-situ characterization of impact damage in carbon fibre reinforced polymers using infrared thermography