Fluids & Mechanics

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.

 

Particle & Separation Technology

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.

Equipment & Process Optimization of Dispersed Systems

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.

Computational Engineering

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.

Structure Dynamics

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.

Engines & Emissions

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.

Contact
Martin Pillei
Martin Pillei, BSc MSc Senior Lecturer +43 512 2070 - 4133

If you have any questions regarding this research area, please contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Development of a compact air filter system for woodworking machines
Duration:
2015 - 2017

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Tobias Kofler

Description:
In the processing of wood there are sometimes very fine dust fractions, which must be sucked by technical equipment from the processing center and subsequently separated from the transport gas. For this purpose, a combination separator consisting of centrifugal separators and fabric filters is being developed in the present research project. The aim here is the lowest possible pressure difference between pure and raw gas, so that the highest possible, legally compliant cleaning performance can be achieved at the lowest suction.

PUMA Development of an UAV with VTOL
Duration:
2014 - 2015

Project Lead:
Bernhard Hollaus, M.Sc.

Description:
On the basis of a F3P model plane and a tricopter, a new motor driven model plane will be developed with the feature to take off and land vertically. The project goals are to build such a merge of a tricopter and a F3P model plane called PUMA, which is able to fly for at least 40 minutes, but still weighs less than 5 kg including payload. The approach is to use parts which already exist and modify them (e.g. airfoil). The body of the model plane will be redesigned completly, so two cameras can be mounted inside for area surveying applications. The control engineering in the project is going to ba a challange, because changing the fligth mode from vertically to gliding horizontally will be difficult to handle.

Wood transport in a fly gluing zone
Duration:
2015 - 2016

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Magdalena Lindl, BSc, MSc

Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Description:
To ensure a high quality of wood fiber boards, the process of fly gluing is essential. An incomplete gluing process usually results in considerable quality losses in quality of the wood fiber boards. In order to eliminate or minimize the sources of error, in this project the flow behavior of wood fibers in a converging flow zone is investigated and systematically illuminated with regard to an optimized gluing process.

Simulation-assisted prediction in nasal surgery
Duration:
2015 - 2016

Project Lead:
Manuel Berger, BSc MSc

Description:
With the help of a flow simulation the success of a surgery should be predicted for patients with respiratory problems. The computer tomography is used as the basis for this. Patients with respiratory problems should get air-free after surgery with greater certainty and less surgical intervention.

Development and optimization of pre-filtration system bulldozer PR736
Duration:
2018 - 2019

Project Lead:
Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Team:
Christian Mayerl, BSc, MSc

Description:
Empirical investigation to develop and optimize the prefiltration system of an existing LIEBHERR bulldozer PR736. Field test to determine an optimized prefiltration system to increase the filter life and readiness of the bulldozer.

Fine dust metering for low mass flows with minimal pulsation
Duration:
2016

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Dr. techn. Thomas Senfter

Description:
At MCI, a novel dosing method for fine dusts has been developed in recent years, which finds application f.e., in the coating and air purification technology as well as in the energy production or food industry. Building on this development, the present project aims at producing a near-series prototype in order to facilitate the commercial exploitation by means of a patent. The new dosing unit will lead to improvements in the development of particle separators directly at the MCI and, in the long term, the developed patent will strengthen the technology location Tyrol.

Fly gluing in the production of wood fiber boards
Duration:
2016

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner
Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Description:
To ensure a high quality of wood fiber boards, the process of fly gluing is essential. An incomplete gluing process usually results in considerable quality losses in quality of the wood fiber boards. In order to eliminate or minimize the sources of error, in this project the flow behavior of wood fibers in a converging flow zone is investigated and systematically illuminated with regard to an optimized gluing process.

Influence of particle movement in flue gases to reduce dust emission
Duration:
2015 - 2016

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Benedict Orterer, BSc MSc

Magdalena Lindl, BSc, MSc

Description:
The historically shaped heating behavior by means of a tiled stove is a major cause of the proven poor air quality in the winter months in addition to the classical particulate matter emitters. Flue gas filter systems in domestic fireplaces are currently not available on the market due to the lack of financeable alternatives, which has kept the legislature apart from a prescribed flue gas cleaning system. The present project concept is intended to illuminate the influence of the particle movement in the flue gas, in particular of wood combustion systems. Here, possibilities for influencing the particle trajectory are investigated, which should facilitate the separation of particles in the flue gas, so that the particle emission can be significantly reduced.

CFD Vertical Gradient Coating
Duration:
2020 - 2021

Project Lead:
Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Team:
Manuel Berger, BSc MSc

Description:
Further development of the Diamond 4.0 coating process to improve the vertical layer gradients for carbide tools and shapes in the field of machining / lightweight construction (fiber composite materials), electric motors / mobility and energy generation

Downstreamprocessing ARA - Separation of contaminants by hydrocyclone
Duration:
2015 - 2019

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Dr. techn. Thomas Senfter

Description:
In the sewage treatment process with co-fermentation in particular contaminants such as glass, sand and metal lead to undesirable loss of digester chamber volume due to sedimentation. Likewise, depending on contaminant properties and composition, increased wear on system components can be observed. To reduce these problems, an inline contaminant separation using a hydrocyclone will be investigated. For this purpose, in particular the geometrically optimal design of the hydrocyclone is systematically investigated. Another objective is the operating parameters (contaminant concentration, volume flow, pressure drop), which are to be determined for a maximum separation efficiency.

Investigation and optimization of the cyclone separator of a two-stage filter
Duration:
2014 - 2015

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Description:
A two-stage filter, for use in construction, agricultural and working machines, consisting of a centrifugal separator and a fabric filter should be optimized with regard to the primary separation. Here, the maximum pressure loss and the achievable degree of separation are given. An essential part of the optimization concerns the measurements of the flow processes inside the primary separator, which are evaluated with laser-optical PIV measuring systems. Building on this, optimization potential can be raised and consequently implemented in several prototypes.

Design and development of a cyclone cell >60mm for special applications
Duration:
2013 - 2014

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Description:
For the field of special applications (for example, cleaning the intake air of combustion units, cleaning the cooling air of electric motors, etc.), a particle separator is to be developed. In this area of special applications mostly very high volume flows are to be expected, which is why the separator should be designed in a parallel and therefore very compact design. The maximum energy consumption and the minimum separation efficiency are specified by the project partner. In several sub-steps, pollinator tests according to ISO 5011:2000(E), a series-compatible separator is being developed.

Investigations on atypical, two-stage air filters with tangential raw air inlet
Duration:
2015 - 2016

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Tobias Frischmann, BSc, MSc

Christian Mayerl, BSc, MSc

Description:
A two-stage filter, for use in construction, agricultural and working machines, consisting of a centrifugal separator and a fabric filter should be optimized with regard to the primary separation. Here, the maximum pressure loss and the achievable degree of separation are given. An essential part of the optimization concerns the measurements of the flow processes inside the primary separator, which are evaluated with laser-optical PIV measuring systems. Building on this, optimization potential can be raised and consequently implemented in several prototypes.

Digital Road Lab
Duration:
2019 - 2022

Project Lead:
Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Team:
Leonie Strasser, B.Sc.

Thomas Hausberger, BSc, MSc

Dr. Martin Spruck, MSc

Benjamin Massow, B.Sc., M.Sc.

DI Christina Stampfer

Christian Mayerl, BSc, MSc

Manuel Berger, BSc MSc

Petr Oulehla, BA, MA

Pascal Krug, BSc

Adrian Seitz, BSc

Description:
Construction of a research laboratory for the development of feasibility studies and prototype implementation of innovative product concepts and process technologies for applications in the production, operation and maintenance of road marking and boundary elements for SWARCO GmbH.

Development of an automated particle discharge system
Duration:
2016 - 2017

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Christian Mayerl, BSc, MSc

Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Description:
Particle separators for keeping the process air clean in the field of process engineering must ensure continuous and safe transport of the separated particles from the filter element. In this case, independent of the pressure conditions in front of or behind the particle separator, it is necessary to develop a transport system which is as independent and resistant to interference as possible and which can be integrated into a series-production to competitive expense.

Concept for an optimized dust separator for the wood industry
Duration:
2014 - 2015

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Tobias Kofler

Description:
Various types of production on woodworking machines such as milling, sawing, planing and more, not only produce the product but also waste in the form of cutoffs and fine wood shavings. The particularly small particles must be removed by a suction device by the operator and subsequently separated from the air flow. For optimal operation of such suction devices the maximum service life of the downstream fabric filter is sought in this project. For this purpose, different separator concepts are coordinated and combined.

Studies on the series development of a regenerative two-stage filter system
Duration:
2016 - 2019

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Christian Mayerl, BSc, MSc

Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Description:
Highly loaded filter elements in the field of application of construction and agricultural machinery have relatively short service lives due to the extreme conditions of use. For the extension of the useful life, a regenerative system is investigated in the present project, resulting in maximum useful life and effectiveness.

Digital Twin
Duration:
2019 - 2022

Project Lead:
Davide Bagnara, MSc

Team:
Alejandro Secades Rodriguez, BSc MSc

DI Dr. Andreas Mehrle

Description:
When a machine is built, a large number of load cases and scenarios need to be examined through numerical analysis beforehand. However, these simulations are usually limited to individual components and are not able to portray their complex interactions. Consequently, unexpected and unwanted phenomena occur, especially if multiple physical domains are involved. A "digital twin", however, serves as a virtual counterpart of the entire machine. It allows a complete depiction of the machine and its simulation with different levels of detail, depending on its resources. In particular, the "digital twin" should be able to display multiphysical interactions, which appear in recent developments, such as multivariable control, autonomous driving and predictive maintenance. This project is supported by the Tyrolean Government.

PIV-Measurements at a MAF-Sensor for Automobile Industry
Duration:
2012

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Description:
Stereoscopic flow profile measurement using PIV for the validation of simulation results on air mass sensors. Depending on the design of the intake tract of different types of vehicles, realistic conditions are simulated by means of faulty installations.

Floating dust separation waste treatment
Duration:
2014 - 2015

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Ing. Andreas Volderauer, BSc

Description:
In order to relieve the burden on the scrubber for cleaning the hall air from the waste treatment plant, the feasibility of a prebase separation by means of a centrifugal separator should be investigated. For this purpose, isokinetic samples are taken in advance from two exhaust air lines so that the proportionate volume flow distribution and the dust concentrations can be evaluated. Subsequently, the feasibility of an impurity separation by means of centrifugal separator is examined.

Selective MoO3 separation
Duration:
2017

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner

Team:
Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Description:
Investigations on the selective separation of molybdenum-containing dusts in various cyclone types and operating modes. The selective separation of MoO3-containing dust should provide as complete as possible a separation of 20µm particles in all investigated centrifugal separators, whereby the resulting pressure loss is to be kept low.

Investigation of the re-purifying mechanisms and the pulse management of a round filter element
Duration:
2017 - 2019

Project Lead:
FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner
Martin Pillei, BSc MSc

Team:
Christian Mayerl, BSc, MSc

Tobias Frischmann, BSc, MSc

Dr. techn. Thomas Senfter

Matthias Decker, MSc

Thomas Hausberger, BSc, MSc

Armin Lechner, BSc, MSc

Description:
In the field of special machines, which operate in the field of agriculture with very high dust concentrations in the ambient air, two-stage filters are used. To increase the service life similar to the industrial application, re-purifying filter systems are expedient. The objective of this project is to investigate the mechanisms for re-purification in a mobile application with the aim of the best possible service life and clean air quality.


  • Pillei, M., Kofler, T., and Kraxner, M., A swirl generator design approach to increase the efficiency of uniflow cyclones. LXLASER2014, 17th International Symposium on Applications of Laser Techniques to Fluid Mechanics, Lisbon PRT, 2014
  • Mehrle, A.H. (2008). Vortex Diffuser Design. Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag.
  • Puttinger, S., Mehrle, A.H., Gittler, P., Meile, W. (2011). Numerical Optimization and Experimental Investigations on the Principle of the Vortex Diffuser. Journal of Aircraft, 48 (3), 845-854. doi:10.2514/1.C031013
  • Pillei, M., Kofler, T., and Kraxner, M., Untersuchung des Strömungsverlaufes im Abscheideraum eines Gleichstromzyklons mit 3C-PIV und CFD, GALA-German Association of Laser Anemomentry, Fachtagung: Lasermethoden in der Strömungsmesstechnik, KIT - Karlsruhe GER, 2014, ISBN 978-3-9816764-0-2 (p. 29 ff.)
  • Kraxner, M., Skarke, B., Kofler, T., Pillei, M., Pressure Drop in Uniflow Cyclones: Investigations on an Empirical Model. CFB11 - International Conference on Circulating Fluidized Beds and Fluidized Bed Technology, Beijing CHN, 2014, ISBN 978-7-122-20169-0 (p. 917 ff.)

  • Kofler, T., Pillei, M. and Kraxner, M., Separation Effects within the Vortex Finder Zone of an Uniflow Cyclone., AIChE - American Institute of Chemical Engineers - Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City / Utah USA, 2015.
  • Kraxner, M., Portenkirchner, M., Pillei, M., Kofler, T., Muschelknautz, U., Empirical Erosion Tests: Uniflow Cyclones as an Alternative to Reverse Flow Cyclones for longer Life Time? AIChE - American Institute of Chemical Engineers - Annual Meeting, San Francisco / California USA, 2013

  • Patent Nr. WO002013092315
  • Patent Nr. DE102015003754
  • Patent Nr. DE112012005362
  • Patent Nr. US020140298761
  • Patent Nr. DE102015008525