Among lightweight materials, fiber-reinforced plastics offer very high potential for lightweight construction. The unique properties of this composite material have led to a substantial increase in its percentage use in a wide range of industries. However, high material and process costs represent a frequent barrier to large-scale use, with the consequence that the use of fiber-composite materials is often only justified when small quantities are involved. Research at the Institute is therefore concentrated on innovative manufacturing and joining methods designed to make a crucial contribution to cost reduction, thereby opening up new markets for fiber-composite materials.
To determine the mechanical properties of joints the Institute uses a Zwick servo-hydraulic testing machine. The HC25 Compact (Fmax 25kN) is equipped with a T-slotted platform, allowing easy mounting of different components for testing. In addition to classical fatigue tests, pulsating tensile-shear tests, pulsating compressive strength tests and hysteresis determination are carried out on epoxy specimens. The testControl II measurement and control electronics feature high (24-bit) measured-value resolution, guaranteeing maximum test-result accuracy and reproducibility and enabling the smallest changes in force on the joints to be recorded and displayed accurately.