Structural Analysis and Optimization Working Group

The working group is engaged with the simulation and mathematical optimization of structural components using the Finite Element Method (FEM). In addition to modelling, the focus is on experimental and numerical methods for identifying the required material properties. Especially for thermoplastic materials, which are e.g. used for the extrusion blow moulding of hollow plastic bodies, it is necessary to consider and model the (manufacturing) process-related changes of the material properties.
Another focus of the working group is the modelling of the fluid-structure coupling between containers and their filling as well as the development of suitable physical models and testing facilities for the validation of simulation results.


Current research topics

  • Integrative simulation of plastic components: New approaches and models of integrative simulation concepts consider the particular manufacturing process and its influence on the specific product properties. For example, locally varying stiffnesses or anisotropies due to different stretching and cooling rates in extrusion blow moulding are considered during the component design process.

  • Prediction of shrinkage and warpage in extrusion blow moulding: Integration of nonlinear viscoelastic-viscoplastic material models, such as the Parallel Rheological Framework (PRF), for the description of component shrinkage.

  • Development of experimental and numerical methods for the identification of material parameters for FE structural analysis

  • Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI): Simulation of the behaviour of liquid-filled containers

  • Structural optimization of generatively manufactured components from vehicle construction

CAE-Workflow Extrusionsblasformen
CAE-Workflow for Extrusion Blow Moulding


Methods, competences and applications

For many years the research group has been working on the structure-property relationships of thermoplastic materials. The influence of local process conditions on the resulting product properties is investigated. In addition to numerical methods for the identification of material parameters, extensive knowledge in the experimental field (material and component testing) has been acquired.

One working focus is the development of automated CAE workflows, especially for the extrusion blow moulding process. Within the framework of the VMAP research project, standardized interfaces have been developed together with an international consortium. The aim is to exchange all relevant material characteristics and state variables (e.g. strain, stress, orientation, temperature, wall thickness) between the different CAE tools used for the development of products (process simulation, structural analysis, etc.).



Simulations are carried out on the computing cluster of the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. Automated workflows enable powerful calculations that allow high-resolution simulations in the field of fluid-structure coupling as well as mathematical structure optimization.


Selected Publications

  • Bruch, O., Michels, P., Grotenburg, D.: Enhanced Simulation of Shrinkage and Warpage of Extrusion Blow Molded Parts Using the VMAP Interface Standard, Conference Proceedings of 1st International Conference on CAE Interoperability 2020
  • Ramakers-van Dorp, E.,  Blume, C., Haedecke, T., Pata, V., Reith, D., Bruch, O., Möginger, B., Hausnerova, B., Process-dependent structural and deformation properties of extrusion blow molding parts, Polymer Testing 77, 105903, 2019
  • Michels, P.; Bruch,O.; Evers-Dietze, B.; Ramakers van Dorp, E.; Altenbach, H.: Simulative und experimentelle Bestimmung der Bauteilschwindung von extrusionsblasgeformten Kunststoffhohlkörpern, Tagungsband 14. Magdeburger Maschinenbautage, pp. 198–208, 2019
  • Michels, P.; Grommes, D.; Oeckerath, A.; Reith, D.; Bruch, O.: An integrative simulation concept for extrusion blow molded plastic bottles, In: Finite Elements in Analysis and Design 164, 2019, pp. 69-78
  • Michels, P., Bruch, O., Gulati, P.: ITEA VMAP - How the simulation workflow of blow moulded plastic parts benefits from the VMAP Interface Standard, Proceedings of Nafems World Congress VMAP Conference 2019 (External Link, German)



  • Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Institut für technische Mechanik, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Dr. h. c. mult. Holm Altenbach
  • Fraunhofer SCAI, Geschäftsfeld Multiphysics
  • Dr. Reinold Hagen Stiftung