Adaption or adaptivity describes the ability to change or adjust individual characteristics to a change in parameters.
One major focus of the research conducted at the ILEK is the development of multi-layer textile envelopes which will meet the current and future requirements of such structural elements. The emphasis is placed on the preservation of form diversity, translucence and lightweight characteristics of membrane structures in general, but also the current structural demands are to be met. The envelope's make-up is to guarantee maximum freedom in the design of membrane structures.
Up to now several prototypes resulting from various research projects at the ILEK were presented to the public during different trade fairs.
Transparency is the most important characteristic of glass. To change this transparency at will is one of the goals when developing future glazing systems. The manipulation of the light transmission either in general or by selecting a specific frequency allows to control the amount of light and the amount of heat entering the building. This leads to a distinctive increase in energy savings and user comfort. One major research project conducted at the ILEK deals with the development of an adaptive glass building envelope. The switchable liquid crystal element developed at the ILEK and produced with the assistance of the Chair of Display Technology is a major step in that direction. Contrary to various other switchable glazing this element allows the continuous and instant control of the light transmission. The maximum light transmission as well as the switch hub may be –within limits – set variably.
This research group consists of members from seven different institutes representing the disciplines of structural engineering, aerospace engineering, engineering design, production engineering and automotive engineering as well as textile technology and process engineering. This interdisciplinary group was founded with the goal to develop new structural elements which meet the functional, economic and innovative requirements, with their increased functionality setting them apart from traditional structural elements.
As a member of this research group the ILEK heads the project "adaptive shells – design, implementation and evaluation". This project is based on the rather promising results yielding from the institute's ongoing research work about adaptive systems. Applying adaptivity to the design of shells using hybrid intelligent structural elements will greatly reduce any stress concentration resulting from irregular loading in the discontinuity regions or point loads. Active and moveable supports in the structural system or active expansion components integrated into the shell itself may act as actuators. The objective of this project is the development of tools for the design and optimization of shells to significantly improve the stress behavior. These tools will be applied in the construction of a prototype which will provide the opportunity for hands-on-testing and evaluating of this innovative construction method which will be the basis for the design and construction of future ultra-lightweight structures.