Composites: new material models...

Safe and extremely strong: modern composites take over in car manufacturing.

REHAU, a global leader in the construction and automotive sectors, develops production procedures which increase the use of lightweight materials.

TECOSIM assisted during this process by calculating and simulating a variety of material values.

The Challenge

 Lighter weights result in reduced fuel consumption, fewer CO2 emissions and greater travel ranges. These are vital factors for a future which utilizes electrical vehicles.

Material cards are becoming more important in the development of new and lightweight composites. These cards contain all material properties, providing information on how a material reacts to external influences. This included the impact and extent of damage caused by crack and dent formations.

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REHAU was faced with the following challenges:

  • They needed to produce three material cards for three new composite types
  • They were receiving frequent variations in test results
  • Tests needed to be completed and evaluated in temperatures ranging between -40 and +90°C

Project Description Info Box

  • Management and coordination of participating universities
  • Calculation and simulation of informative material models
  • Reduction of variations in test results
  • Creation and validation of material cards

Rehau AG + Co

As a provider of premium polymer-based solutions, REHAU is a global leader in the construction, automotive and industry sectors.

Around 20,000 employees across 170 worldwide locations are committed to the success of this independent family firm which originated in Germany.

For further information on REHAU:


  • Tensile and three-point bending tests were successful
  • Material cards can now be used for five different temperatures
  • Use of data in ABAQUS material models

TECOSIM Company Profile

A team of over 460 computer-aided engineering (CAE) specialists positions TECOSIM as the go-to development process partner. With branches in the UK, Japan, India, Germany and Romania we deliver unbeatable solutions that fully satisfy your requirements.

The Solution

 TECOSIM managed and coordinated various universities, who assisted with testing, for this impressive development project.

An expert team produced material card models for three composites.  As a result, the behaviour of different external influences could precisely be mapped to the point where the materials deform.

 “As a future-oriented company, REHAU works to optimise its CAE processes on a continuous basis. By working together with TECOSIM we achieved this goal and delivered excellent results.”

Tobias Tuchbreiter, CAE Engineer, REHAU AG

  • Development of a laminated glass simulation method which far exceeds previous standards
  • High prediction accuracy regarding the risks of injury for head impacts on a windscreen
  • Simulation results can be incorporated into new car designs immediately
  • Recommendations for improvements to structural designs for windscreens and panoramic windscreens.
  • A research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).

TECOSIM Services

Calculating plastic deformation

Permanent plastic deformation occurs when a composite component doesn’t return to its original state after a load is removed.

TECOSIM calculated specific load values, identifying the point when this deformation takes place.

Tensile and three-point bending tests, with special thermal image recordings, were performed to determine the exact point. This point was then entered into the material card models.

Achieving valid test results

Composites can exhibit product characteristics resulting in diverse findings from repeat tests. With this in mind, the TECOSIM team incorporated the direction of moulding for the composite samples into the simulation.

This knowledge was applied when testing the samples across five temperatures ranging between -40 and +90 °C.

Creation and validation of material cards

A detailed description of the material’s behaviour is required in the form of a material card. This is necessary for realistic quasistatic, thermal or crash load simulations of composite components.

TECOSIM analysed the test results and combined specific material values for three innovative composites on a material card.

Benefit to the client

The project was a complete success with TECOSIM impressing the client whilst working as a solution-orientated project partner. REHAU delivered high-grade material models as a result.

Additionally, REHAU used the simulation to establish an approach for further development using real components.

Following the validation of the created material models based on the material cards, the models can be used to design components. This reduces development times greatly.

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