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 When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

nachricht Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?
23.10.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Scientists invented method of catching bacteria with 'photonic hook'

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Next Generation Cryptography

20.03.2018 | Information Technology

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>