Course paper / final thesis, Internship

Simulation of lightweight C/C-SiC sandwich structures

Starting date


Duration of contract

6 months


according to the German TVöD 05

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

Your mission:

In the department of ceramic composite structures at DLR (German Aerospace Center), Institute of Stuctures and Design, ceramic matrix composites (CMC) have been developed since the late 1980s. So called C/C-SiC materials are manufactured via liquid silicon infiltration (LSI), a robust process based on three characteristic steps: (1) Manufacture of a CFRP preform; (2) Pyrolysis, resulting in a porous C/C preform; (3) Siliconization by capillary infiltration of Si in the C/C preform and chemical reaction of Si with C, building up a SiC matrix. Currently, C/C-SiC materials, originally developed for thermal protection systems of reusable spacecraft, are opening new applications for highly stiff and thermally stable satellite structures. C/C-SiC sandwich parts offer a high potential for the use in lightweight optical benches with specific stiffness. Therefore filigree core structures with high mechanical load capacity are needed. The aim of this work is the development of methods for designing C/C-SiC sandwich structures by using finite element analysis (FEA). Thereby different core structures, like folded cores, grid and honeycomb type cores have to be considered. In order to obtain lightweight structures, specific stiffness and strength has to be optimized by varying the wall thickness of skin plates and core structure as well as by the core density (cell size). Therefore convenient tools based on parameterized structural models have to be developed. For evaluation, characteristic samples will be manufactured and tested in bending, shear and compression mode.

The work will comprise: 

  • Literature research regarding sandwich structures
  • Development of parameterized structural models for C/C-SiC sandwich structures based on grid and honeycomb core types
  • Simulation of sandwich samples in bending, compression and shear load
  • Comparison of simulation and test results on exemplary samples
  • Documentation in a report

Your qualifications:

  • Study of aerospace engineering, materials and process engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.
  • Knowledge of polymer or ceramic fiber composite materials
  • Knowledge in FEM simulation (ANSYS) and in design (CATIA V5)
  • Previous knowledge in the mechanical examination
  • English language skills

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy puts great value on a healthy work-life balance as well as equal opportunities for men and women. Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

Technical contact

Yuan Shi
Institute of Structures and Design

Phone: +49 711 6862-850

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Bernhard Heidenreich
Institute of Structures and Design

Phone: +49 711 6862410

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Vacancy 12019

HR department Stuttgart

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DLR site Stuttgart

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DLR Institute of Structures and Design

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