The expertise developed in recent years in the fields of multiphase systems, structure dynamics and engine technology, have been pooled together in the research area “Fluids & Mechanics”. The unique strengths of MCI are the interdisciplinary approaches and varied comprehensive methods such as the experimental verification of simulations or the application of control engineering concepts in mechanical systems. Nonetheless, it is of prevailing importance to find the most appropriate solution for the respective challenge with regard to the general requirements.
In the field of particle and separation technology, knowledge from fluid analysis is used, for example, to optimize particle separators or to design them for special requirements. This research area focuses on the separation of particles by means of centrifugal separators, especially with counter-flow and uniflow cyclones. The latter type of cyclones offers many advantages due to their compact design and is therefore used in various technical applications for gas-particle separation (e.g. intake air pre-cleaning of motor vehicles, FCC plants, exhaust gas cleaning systems, etc.). The investigation by means of state-of-the-art experimental and numerical methods such as laser-based flow measurement technologies, online particle characterization as well as precise manufacturing processes, including rapid prototyping, allow the investigation of a wide variety of applications in detail.
Like many other industrial sectors, the material-converting industry is facing great challenges in the optimization of processes and apparatus. Experimental know-how in methodology and prototype construction enable detailed parameter optimization for the further development of an apparatus design. Research areas comprise particle separation, bulk solids technology or emission reduction of particulate matter for example. In addition to the technical evaluation (also in the context of a meaningful linkage of the unit operations in process engineering in the plant) economic considerations (e.g. cost-benefit analysis, LCA, ...) are also applied here.
Simulation technology forms a core area of education in several MCI study programs and has established itself as an independent and interdisciplinary research area. In addition, the modern research process has long since become indispensable for modelling, simulation and visualization with the aid of high-performance computers. From classical data engineering, i.e. the collection, processing and validation of data, to complex mechanical (FEM, MBS), fluid mechanic (CFD, LB), acoustic, electromagnetic and control engineering simulations, and on to digital twins, engineering problems can be investigated and described.
Due to the variety of moving parts and components in mechanical engineering practice, structural dynamics is of particular importance. The related structural vibrations can lead to material fatigue or undesirable acoustic behavior. Both, experimental and numerical investigations in the field of structural dynamics are conducted by the research unit. Alongside vibration measurements in an in-house laboratory, also field measurements are carried out. The results of these measurements are used to validate the numerical models as well as to determine unknown model parameters. These validated numerical models are the basis for subsequent optimization procedures.
Given the fact that internal combustion engines represent the backbone of current mobility solutions and play a significant role in the area of energy supply, the research division Engines & Emissions particularly addresses issues related to alternative fuels, internal combustion and technologies for the reduction of emissions.