Vector Stiftungs-YIG "Green Mobility"

Research Focuses

Lighter vehicle structures enable more environmentally friendly mobility. The weight of load-bearing components can be significantly reduced by using high-performance fiber-reinforced composites (HPFRPs). However, load-bearing FRP components can only be designed with optimized weight if the anisotropy of the fibers is fully exploited and if the influences of manufacturing on material behavior are correctly identified and taken into account. To increase the simulability of HL-FRP, YIG is dedicated to the following research topics:

  • Development of end-to-end CAE chains. In the course of the global trend of digitalization, end-to-end CAE chains and digital twins are a clear competitive advantage in product development. The challenge lies primarily in the combination of efficient overall product consideration (for industrial applicability) and necessary detail modeling.
  • Forming simulation of semi-finished fiber products. YIG has achieved international visibility with its forming simulation methods. Current research topics concern the macroscopic detection of mesoscopic effects of fiber layups, the forming and compacting behavior of thick semi-finished products and the forming behavior under simultaneous infiltration in wet pressing processes.
  • Mold filling processes with fiber-matrix interaction and hybridization. Process-inherent interactions between fibers and matrix flow are a challenge for simulation. YIG is at the forefront of simulating the wet pressing process, mold filling of sandwich structures with fluid-structure interaction, and cross-scale simulation of RTM, injection molding, and impact extrusion processes. Current research topics additionally concern the simulation of additive manufacturing processes as well as the simulation of hybrid processes, with a special focus on warpage and residual stresses.
  • Structural simulation of fiber composite components. In structure simulation, YIG's research focus is on the influence of manufacturing effects. Multiscale simulations are performed to investigate the influence of fiber structure on rate-dependent material behavior. In DFG-SPP 1897, models for hybrid composite-elastomer-metal laminates are developed, including higher order shell formulations. 
  • Process and structural optimization for lightweight products. In addition to taking manufacturing effects into account, the CAE chain enables optimization over several simulation steps. However, highly accurate simulation methods are generally too costly for product optimization. AI methods, physics-based approximation methods or a combination of both (black-, white-, grey-box models) can be used to increase efficiency. In the YIG, surrogate-based optimization approaches (SBO) for forming processes and methods for rapid process evaluation are developed.


Members of the Vector Foundation YIG "Green Mobility"

YIG-Leiterin:  Dr.-Ing. Luise Kärger
Research assistants in forming simulation:
Dr.-Ing. Christian Poppe,  M.Sc. Bastian Schäfer
Research assistants in mold filling simulation:
Dr.-Ing. Nils MeyerDr.-Ing. Florian WittemannM.Sc. Louis SchreyerM.Sc. Felix FrölichM.Sc. BhimeshM.Sc.Sarah DietrichM.Ed. Nik PoppeM.Eng. Marcel Olma
Research assistants in structural simulation and curing:
M.Sc. Alexander JackstadtM.Sc. Shubham Gorde
Research assistants in CAE chain and structural and process optimization:
Dipl.-Ing. Clemens ZimmerlingM.Sc. Constantin Krauß


Former members of the Vector Foundation-YIG "Green Mobility"

Dr.-Ing. Fabian Schirmaier
Dr.-Ing. Dominik Naake (externer Doktorand bei Bosch)
Dr.-Ing. Benedikt Fengler 
Dr.-Ing. Dominik Dörr
Dr.-Ing. Julian Seuffert
Dr.-Ing. Siegfried Galkin


Current projects of the YIG

  • DFG HyCEML "Hybrid CFRP / elastomer / metal laminates with elastomer layers for targeted adjustment of damping behavior", DFG project in the priority program "Calm, Smooth & Smart" (SPP 1897).
  • DFG IRTG: Subproject on process simulation and optimization in the international research training group GRK2078 CoDiCoFRP "Integrated engineering of continuous-discontinuous long fiber reinforced polymer structures".
  • DFG MerVa "Method and process development for infiltration of highly loadable topology-optimized fiber-plastic composite components with variable-axis fiber architecture."
  • BMBF/PTJ-TraCLight Cost- and resource-efficient production of fiber composite-matellite hybrid structures using the wetprexx process (hyWet - subproject C)
  • DFG AMECOMP "Composite forming simulation for non-crimp fabrics based on generalized continuum approaches"
  • KIT Future Fields Projekt Hybrid2PaM
  • Lite2Duro
  • HEaK
  • EcoDynamicSMC
  • Working with young talent: Lightweight summer workshop for schoolgirls


Abgeschlossene Projekte der YIG

  • KIT-MathSEE
  • EU ITEA-VMAP: Subproject on high-performance fiber composites in the VMAP project "Virtual Material Modelling in Manufacturing"
  • MWK Forschungsbrücke KIT - Uni Stuttgart: Time- and cost-efficient product development for high-performance lightweight fiber composite construction using wet-press technology
  • DFG-Projekt "Experimental and virtual analysis of drape effects and their effects on the structural mechanical behavior of fiber composite components."
  • KraSchwing: Optimization of force application in vibration loaded fiber composite structures, funded by MFW-BW and MWK-BW
  • BMBF SMiLE "Multi-material lightweight construction for electromobility": method development for simulating the drape behavior of UD tape structures. Awarded as BMBF lighthouse project for electromobility.
  • EU-Fortissimo: Integrated Design Workflow for the Manufacturing and Produkt Simulation of high-performance Composite Structures
  • III-D-Preforming „Intelligent, Innovativ, Interdisziplinär“, sponsored by MWK-BW and Dieffenbacher GmbH
  • TC²-RTM CAE/CAx: End-to-end CAE chain for the RTM process
  • Cooperation with Bosch: Promotion of damage formulation for continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastics


Extension of the Young Investigator Group (YIG) for another three years

In the fall of 2017, Dr. Luise Kärger's Young Investigator Group "Green Mobility" was evaluated by the Council for Research and Promotion of Young Scientists (CRYS) and rated as "extraordinarily successful". As a result, the Vector Foundation has agreed to extend funding for the YIG until the end of 2021. The focus of the work in the following three years will continue to be the development of methods for forming and structure simulation of fiber composites. Extensions to combined forming and mold filling simulation, 3D shell modeling, economies of scale in manufacturing-related damage behavior, optimization approaches with machine learning methods and other topics are planned.


For the First Time, a Young Investigator Group (YIG) at KIT is Funded by the Vector Foundation

Under the guiding principle of "Green Mobility", Dr.-Ing. Luise Kärger was awarded funding by the Vector Foundation for the research topic "Weight-optimized vehicle structures using tailored high-performance fiber composites".
Dr. Kärger will thus head the junior research group "Green Mobility" at the Chair of Lightweight Construction Technology from July 1, 2014. After the YIG "Hybrid Lightweight Construction" of PD Dr.-Ing Kay Weidenmann, which was funded by the Excellence Initiative in the years 2007-2011, a second junior research group is thus dedicated to the research field of lightweight construction.

Support of the YIG by the Vector Foundation

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Vector Foundation for supporting the Young Investigator Group. The foundation was established in 2011 by the founders of Vector Informatik GmbH, Eberhard Hinderer, Martin Litschel and Dr. Helmut Schelling. The foundation's purposes are the sustainability of research as well as social commitment. Talent is supported through the promotion of young scientists, scholarships, research projects and endowed professorships. A focus is placed on the topic of environmentally friendly and sustainable mobility.

Our thanks also go to the KIT Foundation, which provides us with the funds from the Vector Foundation donations and whose fundraising activities made the YIG possible in the first place.