Company: Product development

Product development

We offer comprehensive development and manufacture of fibre composite materials and lightweight products. We cover the entire development chain: concept development, design, dimensioning, testing and approval of prototypes and series production. One or several links in the development chain can be offered as a service or a full package as required. INVENT places particular importance on targeted, customer-oriented project handling and can now look back on over 20 years of experience.

Development chain

The basis for successful product development is effective development logic and its implementation. This is usually oriented around customer requirements which specify product properties, qualification and quality demands. Solutions are developed on this basis and take on increasing detail as the project progresses. Key tasks when developing fibre composite products include the development of the construction method, fibre-composite-compatible designs, structural analysis methods and the right selection of suitable fibre and semi-finished matrix products. If the product development takes place with the aim of prototype or series production, the choice of production technologies and the associated tooling concept are of fundamental importance.

Fibre composite materials are materials which can be shaped to the required application. The component properties are achieved by specifically selecting the fibre materials and the fibre orientation to suit the job in hand. By carefully utilizing these directional material properties, a higher material utilization can be achieved and the resulting structures can be lighter and reach a higher performance level. Another point in designing specifically for fibre composites is the connection with components in the surrounding structures. This often takes place by way of established connection technologies such as bolts, rivets or positive locking. This makes it necessary to correspondingly adapt the fibre composite layup at the interfaces or integrate metallic components such as inserts and brackets. The result is the so-called hybrid construction approach. We can provide a wide range of different integration solutions which we have developed, implemented and tested over the course of the years for aerospace and industrial applications. We use Catia® V5 for the design and engineering.

Structural analysis is a key element in developing high-performance composite materials. Due to the numerous influencing parameters, structural analysis requires specialised expertise. The knowledge comprises methods of verifying structural stability, dynamic analyses and stability calculations. The aim is generally to optimise the structures in terms of their mass and functionality. Both analytic and numeric methods are applied. ESAComp® and Compositor® are used for analytic calculation of fire composite structures. Both are specialised programs for calculating composite structures. The numeric analyses are conducted using the programs Ansys® Classic and Ansys® Workbench.

The next step in the product development involves qualifying materials and construction methods in order to ensure that the parts meet the specifications. Over the years, we have been involved in – and have successfully completed – numerous qualification programmes. One part of this is test programmes for qualification of special or new fibre composite materials, particularly for space applications (Exomars, Euclid, Sentinel). The aim of these programmes is to ascertain mechanical and thermal properties and to derive so-called “design allowables” as a basis for the structural analysis. Alongside this, we qualify entire components and assemblies as part of development projects in a wide variety of fields. Examples include the crash element and helicopter skis for the NH90 military helicopter, load-bearing structures for Meteosat Third Generation Helium Tanks and tertiary structures for the Exomars Orbiter.

Holger Schmitz

+49 531 24466-60