Adapting to the everchanging Environment of Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is changing constantly. It is therefore necessary to constantly reflect on whether research and teaching still meets the challenges of the future. Darmstadt's Mechanical Engineering Department takes on this challenge by establishing new subject areas and research groups on a constant basis and by evaluating the content being researched in the existing subject areas.
Currently, the TU Darmstadt's Department of Mechanical Engineering is made up of the following institutes and research teams:
The focus of research is on product ergonomics, vehicle ergonomics, industrial engineering/work organisation and product ergonomics
With Prof. Dr. Ing. Walter Rohmert (1963-1995) and Prof. Dr. Ing Kurt Landau (1995-2005) as heads of the department, one of the leading ergonomic German institutes was established which also enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide. A fundamental characteristic of the Institute of Ergonomics of the TU Darmstadt from the very beginning on was its broad focus of differing focus.
Due to this broad approach, the IAD has always been in the position during past 40 years to react to new questions coming from practical problems or to work on relevant research topics that influence business and social developments. The demand of the IAD as “all-round institute” will be continued with the new head of the institute, Dr.-Ing. Ralph Bruder (since January 1, 2006).
The multidisciplinary and international formation of employees is a significant quality mark for the IAD's research work. Therefore, our academic collaborators have academic degrees in the areas of engineering, occupational health, psychology, business administration, or ergonomics.
The integration of information technology as integral part of modern mechanical engineering and the linkage of research and education to industrial needs are our fundamental targets.
The integration of information technology as integral part of modern mechanical engineering and the linkage of research and education to industrial needs are our fundamental targets. Moreover the DiK is positioned as the competence center of information technology affairs within the faculty.
Institute for Energy Systems and Energy Technology
Energy conversion and power plant processes/flow, reaction and heat transfer processes/tests on test plants
The provision of electric power and heat energy, eg Heating or process steam, is an important branch of power engineering and industry. Iin the last decades, in addition to the technical aspects of implementation and cost-effectiveness, issues of resource and environmental protection play an important role. Therefore, the improvement and development of individual equipment and plant processes is very important.
Research with mechanical engineering, process-engineering and business administration topics for company-spanning development in printing machine engineering and print media
At the Institute of Printing Science and Technology (IDD), research focuses on mechanical and process engineering as well as on applied business administration, accompanying the rapid development in the fields of printing machine engineering and print media, across all types of companies. Some of our current research topics concentrate on colour flow in inking units, separation performance of colour, regardless of high circumferential roll speeds, the printability of glass surfaces as well as boundary physic influence factors during wetting processes. Further works include the transport of panels in rolling machines, optimisation of faster drying processes, isotropic light dispersion of paper as well as frequency-modelled image raster processes. As part of another cooperation, potential applications for printing processes are tried out and developed together with industrial partners as well as other research institutes. IDD also has a special know-how about construction and engineering of special printing machines, such as thick and even rigid components of print substrates (e.g. glass sheets).
Research on combustion (theoretical and experimental); studies on turbulent processes; optimisation of technical power plant engineering components and waste combustion
Climate change is caused largely in part to the burning of fossil fuels, upon which our society is completely dependent upon. Because of this it is absolutely necessary to make combustion processes cleaner and more efficient. With this in mind the department of Energy and Power Plant Technology focuses on the development and employment of theoretical, numerical and experimental methods to improve future combustion technologies.
Use of possible potential that mechatronics offers for an improved performance of driver/vehicle unit
Today's cars and motorcycles are of a highly developed technical status, due to a development of more than 100 years. Nevertheless, there is still potential, now and in the future, to improve the performance with regard to the inseparable driver/vehicle system with respect to vehicle technology.
First of all, the basis of driving has to be developed, which is usually the chassis. The chassis is to ensure that drivers of all kind are in control of directing their vehicle in any way as easy and comfortable as possible – even in critical situations. Potential for an improvement of the chassis lies in an improved interaction of individual modules in an integrated complete system. Here, one still has to consider that there are still many knowledge gaps of everyday used components, such as tyres or tread brakes. However, the right kind of knowledge of these passive components is indispensable, so that an even higher potential of active parts and the complete system can be tapped. In order to achieve this optimisation for passive as well as active mechatronic components, it is necessary to break new ground in testing and measurement technology. This quality has been a strength of the FZD – in the past and will continue to be so in the future. The research results are used to implement improvements regarding driving safety, with a specific inclusion of the motorcycle.
Another way to get a higher performance regarding the driver/vehicle unity is the extension of the ability of a vehicle with regard to an assisting vehicle. Driver assisting systems of the last decade offer a comprehensive function of scope and degree of assistance. The functional potential of systems already introduced, and especially of new systems, has not yet been fully utilised. However, these new systems in their existing type of vehicle guidance hit a limit with respect to integration. Therefore, one can anticipate that the automobile of the future will be guided in a totally different way. In close cooperation with other subject areas of ergonomics and automation engineering, the FZD accepts this interdisciplinary, holistic challenge so that vehicles are developed even further so they carry out the driver's intentions intuitively and execute the movements appropriately to the traffic situation and road conditions.
The Institute of Flight Systems and Automatic Control (FSR) performs application oriented research in the area of aeronautical systems engineering. Main goal is the development of innovative technologies to enhance flight safety. Recently, also the efficiency of aviation as well as environmental aspects came into our focus.
Institute of Gas Turbines and Aerospace Propulsion
Cooling of turbine blades, turbine, mixing chamber test rig, exhaust turbocharger, compressors, numerical simulation
The Institute of Gas Turbines and Aerospace Propulsion is specialised in the development and testing of turbomachine components. Detailed parameter studies are carried out at the institute’s test rigs and the observations are transferred to the real engine using similarity laws. This way the research at the institute has an academic character and is application-oriented at the same time.
Lightweight construction with fibre composite materials: Construction methods, power flow, multifunctional structures
The focus of the research and development work of the lightweight construction and design department (KLuB) is lightweight construction together with fibre composite materials.
The general topic of constructive lightweight construction with fibre composite materials is separated into the following sub-areas:
Fibre composite materials such as glass fibre reinforced plastics (GFK) and carbon fibre reinforced plastics are ideal types of lightweight construction materials. Their characteristics are better than conventional metal materials. Due to the anisotropy of fibre composite materials, their mechanical-mathematic treatment is significantly more complex but they also offer especially constructive possibilities. The aim of the research focus “Construction methods” is to prepare and supplement the fibre composite design methods by special concepts so that their anisotropy can be specifically used.
Lightweight constructions are typically designed thin-walled. Therefore, a concentrated introduction of heavy forces poses a particular problem. The goal of research efforts on the “Power flow” sub-area is a development for different application purposes, to analyse them mechanically, try them out experimentally and to forward this knowledge of optimised solutions to constructing engineers.
The primary task of construction is product development, in the case of fibre composite materials, the focus is on heavy-duty lightweight structures. The goal here is not only the use of advantages of lower density, meaning light material construction, but to integrate several functions at the same time in a single component. The solution concepts for multifunctional structures differ from component to component and do not have to be developed specifically. Specific advantages of the KLuB department are excellent manufacturing and testing options, which means that all steps, starting with the calculation and construction, to prototype construction up to experimental verification of a component construction can be carried out.
The focus of the IMS is application-oriented mechatronic system integration in research and teaching.
Mechatronics is becoming more and more important in the application of Mechanical Engineering. Mechatronics is developing a specific potential due to the interdisciplinary interaction with general mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and informatics.
The realization of highly efficient mechatronic systems requires the integration of skills from the single disciplines, and especially the integration of system components and system parts into a complete system.
Hence, system integration, as well as so-called system thinking, is in the focus of mechatronic specialists, and accordingly systems engineers. The goal of IMS is to provide application orientated contributions to research and teaching on these subjects.
Experimental and theoretical analyses of nano and microfluidic transport processes, research and design of novel nano, micro and optofluidic components.
We are concerned with transport phenomena in fluids on the nano- and micrometer scale. In that context we are especially interested in studying fundamentals, with the intention to pave the way for novel applications. Our research extends over a broad thematic spectrum and combines experimental, theoretical and numerical approaches. Nanoscale gas kinetics, electrokinetics, interfacial flows, wetting phenomena and biomolecular separation belong to our areas of work.
Institute of Numerical Methods in Mechanical Engineering
Development, analysis, and application of numerical methods for differing tasks in mechanical engineering as well as other engineering disciplines
The department focuses on development, analysis, and application of numerical methods for a wide range of tasks in mechanical engineering as well as related engineering disciplines. Of particular interest is problem solving in the fluid dynamics and solid mechanics as well as specialised work in heat transfer and realistic modelling. Special emphasis is on solving coupled tasks and problems.
Institute of Production Management, Technology and Machine Tools
High-speed machining, design and dimensioning of machine tools and components, concept development and implementation of lean production systems
The research focus of PTW is in the area of high-speed drilling and milling, design and construction of machine tools systems and the optimisation and implementation of an efficient production organisation.
In research and teaching we thoroughly examine questions with regard to new processes and technologies as well as microscopic phenomena.
In research and teaching we thoroughly examine questions with regard to new processes and technologies as well as microscopic phenomena. We act within research areas such as new press technologies and production processes but at the same time link with fundamental research issues.
The central goal is to present chemical reactive flows that are relevant for energy and process engineering in research and teaching.
The main objective of the institute is the representation of chemically reactive flows concerning questions of energy and process engineering in research and teaching at the department of mechanical engineering of the Technische Universität Darmstadt.
Institute of Simulation of reactive Thermo-Fluid Systems
The central aim of the Institute is the modeling and simulation of thermofluiddynamic processes in mechanical and chemical process engineering.
The central aim of the Institute is the modeling and simulation (CFD = Computational Fluid Dynamics) of thermofluiddynamic processes in mechanical and chemical process engineering. Typical applications are internal combustion, reactors in process engineering, gas turbines or catalysts.
The work at the Institute is characterized by a close connection between basic and application-oriented research. Fundamental research questions for relevant sub-processes often arise from technical applications, typical examples are turbulence-chemistry interaction, population balance dynamics, high pressure sprays or fluid-wall interactions. We develop mathematical models and apply them in simulations of chemical engineering processes as well as combustion of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels. This allows a transfer of methods and results from fundamental research directly to the technical application. We develop a suite of in-house software tools, but we also use packages such as OpenFOAM, CFX and Fluent, which we extend with our methods. Simulations are carried out on our own cluster as well as large-scale computing facilities at national computing centers. Our interdisciplinary research is mostly conducted as part of national and international collaborations.
In addition to the close connection of research and teaching, our aim is the intense supervision both the teaching and student work such as a Master thesis. There are always opportunities for interested students interested to contribute in our research projects. We have a number of international contacts, students interested in studies abroad can contact us for further information.
Hydromechanic, flow and turbulence research using analytical i.e. primarily group-theoretical and asymptotic as well as numerical methods
The focus of research activities is on hydromechanics, flow, and turbulence research using analytical, meaning primarily group-theoretical and asymptotic as well as numerical methods. Using these techniques, global fluid-mechanical problems as well as general predictions about flows are gathered. The goal is to get a deeper understanding of flow physics, and especially the development and improvement of mathematical models to describe dynamic processes of turbulent and turbulent-reactive flows. Numerical implementation of new model equations and their application on foundation and application-based issues are the ultimate object of research activities. Besides our own project, we have several cooperations with partners on a TU university-wide, national, and international level, all with the goal of closing knowledge gaps in fluid mechanics.
Aerodynamics, Interfacial phenomena (Spray research group), Measurement technology
The research portfolio at the Institute for Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics can be divided into three main topical groups:
Dynamics of drops and sprays
Flow control and unsteady aerodynamics
Modelling and simulation of turbulent flows
whereby a strong interaction among experimental, theoretical and numerical investigative methods is present in almost all individual projects. In all research projects, whether fundamental or applied in nature, a strong emphasis is placed on a solid understanding of the underlying flow physics involved. Where necessary and appropriate, new methodologies are developed, be it measurement technologies, turbulence modelling, or analytical methods.
The Institute has two locations: Lichtwiese Campus (L2|06) and the wind tunnel premises in close proximity to the August-Euler-Airfield in Griesheim.
Modelling, analysis and evaluation of strength of mechanical structures and their algorithmic optimisation
The Institute of Structural Mechanics (FSM) has its key competence in modeling, analysis and strength prediction of engineering structures. The main research activities are focused on the development of the required mathematical methods and tools together with the efficient and robust implementation in appropriate software systems.
Research Group of System Reliability, Adaptive Structures, and Machine Acoustics
Interaction between individual components and their influence on the reliability of a system as a whole.
The Research Group of System Reliability, Adaptive Structures, and Machine Acoustics SAM was founded at TU Darmstadt in 2001 under the name “System Reliability in Mechanical Engineering” by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka. Its goals are to develop principles, methods, and processes for the evaluation of the reliability of complex systems. These themes are also a relatively new area of research on a global scale. In particular, active systems designed especially for the control of vibrations are developed and assessed. The expertise of the Research Group SAM regarding quieter products was further increased in the year 2005 with the integration of the traditional “Machine Acoustics” research group, which is now reflected in the name of the Research Group itself.
The Research Group SAM works closely with the Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF (English: Structural Durability and System Reliability) LBF in Darmstadt-Kranichstein.
Experimental and theoretical-numeric research of complex heat and mass transfer processes and the research of transport phenomena in the nano and micro area up to applications in the macro and engineering area
Research at the TTD focuses on experimental and theoretical-numeric research of complex heat and mass transfer processes. Our expertise is on the exploration of transport phenomena in the nano and micro area up to applications in the macro and engineering area. The following areas are covered in particular:
Boiling, vaporization, evaporation and condensation
Spray and film cooling
Heat pipe technology
Drying and freezing processes
Heat and mass transfer at interfaces
Heat and mass transfer in weightlessness
During our experiments, modern high resolution and high speed measurement techniques are used and enhanced. Examples are measurements using high speed infrared and black-and-white photography techniques, Particle-Image-Velocimetry (PIV), Liquid Crystal Thermography (TLC), and Micro-thermo elements. On the one hand, we use commercial software for theoretical-numerical research, on the other hand, our own mathematical models are developed and implemented. For example, a numerical model was developed to simulate the evaporation at the three-phase contact line, for phenomena concerning blends (Marangoni convection), dynamic and stability of wavy films or movements of interfaces. Applications for these research fields can be found in the aerospace engineering, in energy-technology and in process-engineering.
Center for Engineering Materials, State Materials Testing Institute Darmstadt (MPA) Chair and Institute for Materials Technology (IfW)
Research, development, testing, failure analysis, and holistic assessment of component properties in plant engineering and construction, traffic engineering and building industry as well as medical technology
The Centre for Construction Materials, the Material Research Laboratory Darmstadt (MPA), and the Institute and Department for Material Science (IfW) at the Technical University of Darmstadt form a strong technical and academic union in research, teaching, development, testing and consultation in the form of an independent competence centre for the whole area of material science in plant engineering and construction, traffic engineering, medical technology, and the building industry. There are currently 143 employees (56 academic collaborators and 29 test engineers) from the areas of mechanical engineering, building engineering, metallurgy, and material science. In our competence areas of informatics, material science, plastics engineering, mechanics, chemistry, physics, electronic and information technology, electrical engineering, and industrial engineering we focus on research, development and teaching in our seven competence areas of material and component testing, monitoring, certification, calibration, failure analysis, evaluation and consultation. In those areas where a confirmation is needed for certain competences or skills, the MPA and IfW hold many certifications and accreditations.