Helmholtz Association

Work Package 1300 – Material & Structural Design

Material development, adaptive system development and structural design: All three disciplines are linked in a common process and are a central key to efficient and intelligent composite structures. New developed materials or integrated sensors will be included in the design of the structures and if necessary modified to ease their integration. The adaptive systems can potentially benefit from the new sensors and use them for closed loop vibration control. The actuators that are needed for vibration suppression are also part of the structural design and will be regarded in the design process. Within this design process, structures or components for infrastructure modules or robotic structures will be developed.

The integration of piezo-composites allows structural health monitoring as well as the reduction of vibrations. Both approaches lead to a more efficient design concept. To employ the full potential of the composite material, efficient load introduction concepts are developed, especially for sandwich structures. Finally the ready designed structures will be built and tested. The tests will cover two steps. The first one will be performed in the laboratory while the second step covers the test of the new structures within the demo-missions. We will:

  • Develop concepts for integration of sensor fibres or piezo-composites to develop materials with sensing capabilities
  • Analyse effects on stiffness distribution of the structure
  • Investigate contact-free ultrasonic obstacle detection
  • Evaluate feasibility of self-healing concepts
  • Develop concept for vibration reduction
  • Design concept for an efficient, lightweight structure
  • Build and test the new structure

Lunar concrete: On earth concrete consists of three main parts: aggregates, cement and water. The scientific challenge is to create a lunar concrete based on lunar materials. To achieve this, it is necessary to study the effects of burning regolith at high temperatures, milling it and analysing the results (in terms of lunar cement); to design a mixture with lunar cement, regolith aggregates and a minimum of water. With regard to the required water we will analyse the approach of Lin (1986), or data of different missions like LCROSS or Chandrayaan-1. To minimize the needed water we have to explore the possibilities for the use of steaming a dry concrete mixture and to determine the necessary amount of steam. As main tasks we will:

  • developing a new manufacturing process on the basis of the dry-mix/steam-injection method (Lin1986) under pressure,
  • Design lunar concrete with minimum amount of water,
  • Create a cement-similar bonding material from lunar material,
  • Develop basaltic reinforcing for precast elements,
  • Design building elements and buildings with basalt-reinforced lunar concrete.

Deep-sea: The Alliance shall be able to develop new ideas for the construction of deep-sea structures for instance using new composite materials that would allow for long-term deployments. Investigations on the structural integrity over long durations and on assembling structures from individual components are in the foreground.