Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Computer simulates thermal stress

A new simulation method has made it possible to predict in record time when and where heavily stressed engine components are likely to fail. Car manufacturers can thereby significantly reduce the time for developing new engine components

Exhaust fumes come hissing out of car engines at up to 1050 degrees Celsius – and that’s pretty hot! It exposes the engine components to tremendous stress, for they expand heavily in the heat.

On frosty days, by contrast, the material contracts. There can be no doubt about it: In the long run, such temperature fluctuations put the material under enormous pressure. The manufacturers therefore test particularly stressed components on a test rig while the vehicle is still under development. However, these investigations cost time and money. Component prototypes have to be built and modified in a time-consuming trial-and-error process until the manufacturer has finally produced a reliable component with no weak points.

These investigations have to be repeated for each new material. For certain car manufacturers and suppliers, however, time-consuming component tests are now a thing of the past. A new simulation method developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg enables companies to significantly reduce the time taken to develop exhaust manifolds. Exhaust manifolds collect the hot exhaust fumes from the engine and pass them on to the catalytic converter. They are exposed to particularly high temperatures and therefore under very great stress.

The new simulation method enables the researchers to work out the places in which a component will wear out and fail after a certain number of heating and cooling cycles. Thanks to this, the manufacturer can optimize the shape of the workpiece on the computer and greatly reduce the number of real test runs. The Freiburg scientists take a very close look at the material.

Starting by testing the material in the laboratory, they heat, squeeze and pull the metal, repeatedly checking under the microscope when and where tiny cracks begin to form. The researchers then feed these insights into their simulation software. From now on, car manufacturers can use it to calculate how the material will behave and when it will fail, for each new component shape. “It goes without saying that our simulation models can also be applied to all kinds of materials and used in other sectors of industry,” says IWM project manager Dr. Thomas Seifert. At present, Seifert and his colleagues are engaged in a joint project with RWE Power and Thyssen-Krupp to investigate heat-resistant nickel alloys for a new generation of power stations.

These will be built to operate at particularly high temperatures and achieve a higher degree of efficiency than today’s facilities.

Dr.-Ing. Thomas Peter Seifert | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht New algorithm for optimized stability of planar-rod objects
11.08.2016 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Automated driving: Steering without limits
05.02.2016 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

The gene of autumn colours

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Polymer scaffolds build a better pill to swallow

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>