Biological tissues are at least in part optimized for being lightweight as this has a positive impact on energy expenditure of living systems. Therefore, similar principles are used by nature as in lightweight design. Such analogies go beyond structural morphology of engineered and biological systems and are also manifested in the structure of the underlying composite materials used.
In both areas, localization of effects and mechanisms determines the macroscopic mechanical performance i.e. strength and toughness. In this context, all biological tissues can be considered as multiscale, hierarchical composite materials with smallest components on the nanometer scale. Similar arrangements are also found in lightweight design. Therefore, approaches for computational modelling and experimental work are similar in both areas leading to synergies and joint opportunities.
The ILSB aims to to develop novel computational / numerical and experimental methods for understanding structure-function relationships in lightweight structures, material systems, composite materials and biological tissues with the aim to uncover fundamental mechanisms, predict non-linear mechanical behavior and design systems to meet technical specifications.