SIMUTENCE GmbH, a spin-off of Karlsruhe Institute of Technol-ogy (KIT), uses a virtual process chain to support designers and manufacturers of fiber-composite components in the develop-ment and optimization of lightweight construction solutions and manufacturing processes. KIT has now decided to participate in the spin-off.
“We need entrepreneurial spirit and funding to rapidly translate inno-vations in science into applications. This is how society can benefit from new technologies and findings,” says the Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs at KIT, Professor Thomas Hirth.“ SIMUTENCE is a good example of this. Our spin-off’s simulation technology will make it easier for many companies to enter the world of fiber-composite materials.” Lightweight construction spe-cialist SIMUTENCE is currently funded by the Helmholtz Association as part of the Initiative and Networking Fund and receives an addi-tional budget for integrating an external manager. KIT has now also decided to participate. This means KIT currently holds ten technolo-gy participations.
SIMUTENCE provides services and develops software relating to the use of fiber-reinforced plastics in industry. They offer excellent mechanical properties such as great material stiffness and, at the same time, extremely low weight. While they have enormous poten-tial for lightweight vehicle structures, the resistance of some com-ponents and the producibility could not be simulated accurately enough so far. “The result is insufficient material utilization and therefore high development costs,” explains Dr. Benedikt Fengler, one of the SIMUTENCE founders who received his doctorate from the Institute of Vehicle System Technology (FAST) at KIT on the optimization of fiber-composite components.
To solve this problem, together with his co-founders Dominik Dörr (FAST) and Dr. Martin Hohberg (FAST), Fengler developed software for virtual process and structure simulations which can be used to reliably design components and optimize production processes. In the future, the virtual process chain from SIMUTENCE could help various companies to minimize costs and risks when using fiber-composite materials.
Being „The Research University in the Helmholtz Association“, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 25,100 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life.