Lightweight materials and structures

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Forskare med strukturellt batteri

Lightweight structural materials are in ever greater demand. Transportation road vehicles, aircraft and sea vessels all need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and increase energy efficiency.

To realise these improvements, weight reduction is a key. As a consequence, increased usage of lightweight metals and fibre reinforced polymer composites in highly optimised structural designs by industry is of highest priority.

Sports technology is another area where decreased weight at maintained or even improved performance is of central importance. Sailing, cycling and ice hockey are just a few examples of sports where new lightweight technology provides advantages over the opponents in terms of easier handling and/or lower resistance.

To facilitate the increase of lightweight design in industry and society, we perform research in the area of material- and computational mechanics, addressing especially challenges related to the prediction of material failure and energy absorption under deformation. A current focus is on structural polymer composites in crash applications, for which both accurate and efficient material models and numerical methods needs to be developed. We have also established a collaboration with Chalmers Sports & Technology to develop lighter and innovative sports equipment. Together with Swerea SICOMP we have built a unique research environment, combining materials science and experimental characterization with computational-oriented material and structural modeling. 

Our research is based on excellence in material and structural mechanics combined with deep understanding of the material behavior under loading and the composites manufacturing processes. More precisely, we are working on prediction of damage initiation in NCF composites; progressive failure modelling in metals and composites, for example via cohesive zone modeling, continuum (phase field) damage modeling, multiscale modeling with computational homogenization, structural modeling of failure (XFEM); and composite processing modeling based on porous media theory.