The DGM Expert Committee Hybrid Materials and Structures is explicitly limited to structural materials and here in particular to lightweight construction as the main application. The focus is primarily on material combinations of composites and metals. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the subject matter, the committee is deliberately heterogeneous, with members from the fields of materials science, mechanical engineering, chemistry, and physics, as well as raw material manufacturers and processors, and members from the automotive and aerospace industries.
Among other things, the Expert Committee organizes the international conference "Hybrid Structures and Materials" and participates in the symposium "Composites and Material Composites". The regular meetings of the Expert Committee are often held together with the Working Group Mixed Compounds with Aluminium of the Expert Committee Aluminium.
Complex machines such as cars or aircraft consist of an increasing number of different materials, which are used according to their respective properties. The well-thought-out use of hybrid materials consisting of two interconnected classes of materials - namely composite and metal in particular - allows components and materials to be designed much closer to the optimum. The reduced material use resulting from hybrid design also makes machines lighter, which increases energy, cost, and environmental efficiency as well as performance and service life. Certain products and functions are made possible by hybrid materials and structures anyway. This ranges from the integration of metallic or optical fibers in composite structures to the reinforcement of steel bodies with carbon fiber-reinforced plastics for high-end automobiles.
Further dissemination and increasing acceptance of hybrid materials and structures would thus strengthen Germany's international competitiveness and serve the good of society - not least through jobs in technology sectors including the entire supply chain.
Currently, the industrial and academic interest in hybrid construction methods is significantly greater in German-speaking countries than in other countries. It is important to secure this lead. To this end, the expertise from metals, polymers, and interface development from the various disciplines must be brought together with suitable manufacturing technology to an even greater extent than before: Up to now, solutions for special tasks have often been determined empirically, so that the results lose their validity when the slightest changes are made to the boundary conditions. Therefore, much more attention must be paid to simulation techniques.
In general, the main research need in the coming decades will be to use a combination of experiment, design, and numerical simulation to elucidate the complex interactions that enable the reliable manufacture and safe operation of hybrid components in a wider range of applications - from materials production and component manufacture to component design and behavior analysis over the entire life cycle. Another challenge in the medium term will be to create hybrid materials and structures that can be efficiently recycled.
Professional exchange of experts in the field of hybrid materials and structures.
Bringing together different disciplines from materials science, engineering, and natural sciences.
Organization of conferences and training courses.
Improving the perception of the topic among the general public and young technical talent.
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