March 1, 2017

New engineering consortium partners with Indiana industry

icsems In an example of how simulation-based engineering can assist manufacturers, Purdue demonstrated to Knauf Insulation (Shelbyville, Indiana) how mechanical loads are transmitted in porous glass fiber materials. (Photo/College of Engineering) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A new consortium of Purdue Engineering faculty and facilities with expertise in simulation-based engineering of materials and structures is now offering partnerships with Indiana-based manufacturers.

The Indiana Consortium for Simulation-Based Engineering of Materials and Structures (ICSEMS) formed in January 2017. It includes members of Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Lyles School of Civil Engineering.

“It’s designed to be a mutually beneficial partnership,” said Thomas Siegmund, professor of mechanical engineering. “Manufacturers can benefit from our expertise in computational modeling, and Purdue students and faculty can benefit from conducting that research in real-world environments.”

Simulation-based engineering refers to the computer modeling of materials, specifically in stress and deformation analysis, fatigue and fracture, shape optimization and material selection.

“Our computer simulations can predict where structures might break down or need additional strengthening,” Siegmund said. “That knowledge is crucial to manufacturers who can get their products to market more quickly, efficiently and safely.”

In a real-life case study, Purdue faculty have been working with Knauf Insulation in Shelbyville, Indiana, a manufacturer of glass fiber insulation materials. During the introduction of a new insulation material into the marketplace, Knauf engineers worked with Purdue faculty to better understand and fine-tune the material microstructure. Purdue researchers simulated the material microstructure and its deformation and failure response in the computer, and determined how forces are distributed internally to the material. Based on the collaboration with Purdue faculty, Knauf Insulation implemented several new techniques into their processes. 

Consortium members’ technical expertise and computational infrastructure can be useful in many industries including automotive, aerospace, civil infrastructure, biomedical, materials, defense and consumer products. 

The consortium also focuses on providing education and training for the engineering workforce and providing a platform for running open-source simulation software for small and medium enterprises.

“We’re looking forward to what Indiana manufacturers can accomplish when they team up with our simulation-based engineers,” said Siegmund.

ICSEMS is a part of the Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC), which aims to sustain manufacturing growth and leadership in the state of Indiana.

Writer: Jared Pike, 765-496-0374, 

Sources: Thomas Siegmund, 765-494-9766,

Michael Sangid, 765-494-0146,

Arun Prakash, 765-494-6696,

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