Research Project "Lightweight construction" (FPL)

Project description

The Lightweight Construction Research Project (FPL), funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts, strengthens the Research Focus on Lightweight Construction (FSPL) at the University of Applied Sciences in Landshut. This is a platform for applied R&D projects and knowledge transfer in the fields of lightweight materials, design and manufacturing technologies.  The research work ranges from the analysis and synthesis of the material microstructure to the computable and ready-to-use lightweight structure. We offer young scientists, bachelor and master students as well as students in project work an attractive, motivating, scientific environment in the field of lightweight construction and have our research results measured by their implementation potential as well as in the international scientific network.

The research focus on lightweight construction brings together the competencies of various disciplines in the field of lightweight construction. Prof. Dr. O. Huber heads the research focus and acts as the contact person. To ensure a lean and efficient structure, the research focus is internally structured thematically according to the individual laboratories, each of which is represented by the laboratory managers. A common use of the equipment is daily practice, since the fields of interest of the laboratory managers also show content overlaps. The research focus on lightweight construction uses the following laboratories:

  • Laboratory Physical Analytics I: Scanning Electron Microscopy (H. Saage)
  • Laboratory Physical Analytics II: Computed Tomography (H. Saage)
  • Laboratory Thermal Analytics: DSC, TGA, DMA, TMA, IR (W. Fischer)
  • Laboratory General Materials Technology: quantitative light microscopy, micro and macro hardness measurement, ultrasonic testing, tensile testing (50kN) (H. Saage)
  • Lightweight Structures Laboratory: universal tensile testing machine 150kN, resonance pulser, servo-hydraulic testing machine with oscillating foundation and temperature chambers, 2 hydropulser, biaxial hydropulser (O. Huber)
  • Lightweight Structures Laboratory: universal tensile testing machine 20kN, 3 hydropulsers (incl. tension-torsion), temperature and climate chambers, glove box, light microscopes (H. Klaus)
  • Lightweight Structures Laboratory: 2 hydropulsers, T-RTM machine, heating press, laser welding machine 2kW (O. Huber, W. Fischer, H. Saage, M. Jautze)
  • Lightweight mechanics laboratory: Teaching experiments, resonance pulser, electrodynamic shaker, strain measurement using gray value correlation (O. Huber)
  • Laboratory Plastics Technology (W. Fischer)
  • Additive Manufacturing Laboratory with machines of different additive manufacturing processes such as FDM, MJM and LS as well as different scanning devices (N. Babel)

PhD Project 1 (PP1): Multi-curved sandwich element with integrated face layer

Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Hubert Klaus, PP1 will manufacture multi-curved sandwich elements and further develop damage models for describing cellular composite materials (CCM). The subproject builds on findings from the "TeTIHS" research project, in which, among other things, a concept for the manufacturing technology of infiltration cores for multi-curved sandwich elements is being developed. Facilities for reproducible production and testing of the mechanical properties of ZVW are already available. A demonstrator in the form of a multi-curved sandwich component is to be manufactured.

PhD Project 2 (PP2): Fatigue strength of formed Mg-sheet structures

Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Otto Huber, the focus in PP2 is on wrought magnesium (Mg) alloys, which have a high lightweight design potential in terms of weight-specific quasi-static and cyclic strengths. However, it is currently not possible to perform a service life calculation of formed Mg structural components using common fatigue strength programs. For this purpose, a suitable material law is missing which mathematically describes the strong basal texturing and the associated localizations of the plastic strains in the form of bands of twinned grains (BvK). In the predecessor project "MagForm", the "highly strained volume" method was developed for the fatigue strength calculation (Bfr). Using the experimentally determined strain field, the local strain in the BvK is evaluated to determine the damage parameters. The main objective of the present research is to develop a validated method for calculating the fatigue life of formed and notched Mg structural components.

PhD Project 3 (PP3): Manufacturing and testing of laser welded TiAl-based alloys

Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Holger Saage, the properties of laser-treated components made of intermetallic titanium-aluminum alloys are being researched in PP3, and additive manufacturing is being expanded to include laser-based powder cladding of titanium-based alloys. The research focus already has a laser welding facility with separate heating and cooling capabilities. At the start of the project, the adaptation of laser buildup welding is to be carried out on the laser welding system. So far, preliminary tests have been carried out with regard to shielding gas optimization and remelting tests of St, Al and TiAl components, as well as for joining Mg sheets by means of the laser welding process. The main objective of the research project is to characterize the fatigue properties of powder clad material samples. Additional research topics in the areas of titanium 3D printing as well as RTM processes of reactive biopolymers are planned.

Cooperation Partner PhD Project 1

Competence Center of Lightweight Design (LLK) at the University of Applied Sciences in Landshut

Within the scope of the PhD project 1 (PP1), the LLK manufactures multi-curved sandwich elements with integrated face sheets and core made of cellular composite material (ZVW) and characterizes these sandwich elements by mechanical tests. Based on the tests, mechanical substitute models are developed for the ZVW used as well as for the entire sandwich elements.

Dennert Poraver GmbH

The company Dennert Poraver supplies the glass foam granulate for the production of the sandwich core. The exchange of knowledge about binders for the glass foam granulate for the production of the infiltration cores of multi-curved sandwich panels is also of great importance.


Lanxess Deutschland GmbH is a leading specialty chemicals group that provides the starting materials for the production of the cast polyamide matrix.

Porcher Industries

Porcher-Industries provides fabric samples with available adhesion promoters to analyze the bond strength between glass and polyamide.

Paris-Lodron University Salzburg

The University of Salzburg scientifically supervises the PhD project TP1 in the person of Prof. Dr. Nicola Hüsing and provides analytical characterization methods (e.g. transmission or scanning electron microscopy).

Cooperation Partner PhD Project 2

Competence Center of Lightweight Design (LLK) at the University of Applied Sciences in Landshut

As part of PhD project 2 (PP2), formed magnesium sheet structures are produced at LLK. These structures as well as representative specimen geometries are tested with fatigue tests. Also, the underlying material behavior, especially plastic deformation, is analyzed with material analytical methods (e.g. scanning electron microscopy, EBSD). The information obtained is used for the evaluation as well as further development of a new fatigue strength analysis method (method of highly strained volume) developed at LLK.

Institute for Metal Forming of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Prof. Prahl of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg supervises subproject PP2 scientifically within the framework of a cooperative doctoral program and produces the cast-rolled magnesium sheets.

HBM Prenscia

HBM Prenscia is the manufacturer of the nCode designlife software, which is used to calculate the service life of structural components. Free software licenses of nCode designlife will be provided during the research project. The software nCode designlife offers open interfaces for programming own routines using python scripts.

Otto Spanner GmbH

The company Otto Spanner offers to form Mg-sheets with the existing serial tools. The development and production of new hot forming tools is supported by the existing design and tool shop. Sample blanks for the hot forming process can be made with a CNC cutting machine and bending machine.

Paris-Lodron University Salzburg

For the PP2 subprojects, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations can be carried out to determine, for example, precipitates, boundary layer structures, twins, stacking faults, dislocations or microcracks.

Cooperation Partner PhD Project 3

Competence Center of Lightweight Design (LLK) at the University of Applied Sciences in Landshut

The production and testing of laser welded TiAl-based alloys is the core topic of PhD project 3 (PP3). The laser welded samples are investigated with regard to their mechanical properties. Special attention is paid to the high temperature properties.

Paris-Lodron University Salzburg

For subproject PP3, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations are possible to determine, for example, precipitates, boundary layer structures, dislocations or microcracks.

MAN Truck & Bus

The company MAN Truck & Bus has a great interest in turbocharger turbine impellers made of TiAl and participates in this subproject with its competences.

Data & Facts

Project nameLightweight Design
Field of technologyOperational strength, cyclic strength, mechanical properties, cellular composites, multi-curved sandwich elements, T-RTM fabrication, lightweight materials, wrought magnesium alloys, high-temperature materials, additive laser welding, numerical simulation
Project duration3 years (08.2018 to 07.2021)
FundingTotal:     649.825 €
PP1:      196.482 €
PP2:      216.383 €
PP3:      236.960 €
Funding programProgram for the Promotion of Applied Research and Development at Universities of Applied Science
Project promoterBavarian State Ministry for Science and Art
Scientific staffM.Eng. Alexander Fischer, M.Eng. Anton Nischler, M.Eng. Christoph Stangl
Overall project managementProf. Dr.-Ing. Otto Huber
Researching professorsProf. Dr.-Ing. Hubert Klaus, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Walter Fischer, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Otto Huber, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Saage