Polymer Science with a Modeling Focus

We have a decade of experience in industrial research and development. During this time, we have worked on many aspects, some of them make polymer research complicated. For one thing, production is a chain of many processes, all influencing product properties. Hence, finding the cause of a problem can be like searching the needle in the haystack. For another thing, plastics usually show a very non-linear behavior. Besides, plastics are frequently used in composite materials showing complex anisotropic behavior. All in all, plastics are hard to predict. Happily, today there are many methods in the science toolbox to choose from. For their effective use we developed a clear-sighted strategy focusing on modeling.

This table shows how we approach Polymer Science. We start a project with a planning phase. Hereby, we focus on creating a modeling strategy, including physical models, a data model and so forth. Then, we implement the models in our real virtual laboratory. Experiments are real models, computer simulations are virtual models. Examples are a compression test and simulation, a creep test and simulation, and so forth. Finally we enter the interpretation phase. Then we evaluate simulation results. Comparing real and virtual simulations, for example, we can calibrate model parameters, validate models, and so forth.
Our approach to polymer science with a modeling focus. In the planning stage we create a modeling strategy which we then implement in our real-virtual laboratory. We emphasize the utility of real-virtual model pairs. For example, interpreting a real-virtual model pair together, we can validate models or calibrate model parameters.

Research Strategy with a Modeling Focus

Our research strategy first states the problem and goals and then proposes a methodology to investigate it. For investigation, experimentation and computer simulation are powerful tools, which can augment each other. Drawing lessons from many research projects, we have developed and laid down a strategy utilizing this. We postulate, that experiments are real models and computer simulations are virtual models. Then we marry both into virtual-real model pairs and show how to use them. Please find more information here: Modeling Strategy using Virtual/Real Model Pairs

Virtual-Real Laboratory

Consequently, we operate a real-virtual laboratory tying experiment and computer simulation together: They take the same input, model the same phenomena and produce comparable output. We can control, measure and simulate loads, displacements, temperature, time and humidity. In other words, we operate a thermo-(hydro)-mechanical laboratory for experimentation and simulation. We have developed techniques to investigate into many aspects of plastics behavior. Among others, this includes monotonous and cyclic mechanical behavior, thermo-mechanical behavior, anisotropy, heterogeneity and aging effects. All of this is perfectly suited to provide data and model parameters to product developers and simulation engineers.

Material Modeling

Material models for finite element analysis are a special case, where we want to share our knowledge and experience. Polymer material models are complex most of the time. And even so, their range of validity is limited. We have developed a step-by-step process for finding material modeling solutions. First, we analyze the FE computation. Then we analyze the polymer material behavior. On this base we carry out a cost-value analysis to choose a suitable material model. Finally, we validate the modeling solution with our customers. Please find more information here: Material Modeling: Problem and Solution