Fraunhofer Adaptronics Alliance

What is the meaning of Adaptronic?

The constantly rising demands for modern structural systems lead to the fact that conventional passive or active mechatronic approaches increasingly reach their technical and economic feasibility limits.

The Fraunhofer Adaptronics Alliance steps up to this plate.

Adaptive structure technology, briefly called adaptronic, is an innovative, new cross sectional technology for the optimization of structure systems.

The adaptive structure technology is based on functional integration by combining conventional structures with active material systems, which extend classical load-bearing and form-defining structure performance by including sensor and actuator functioning. In connection with suitable adaptive controller systems, adaptive structure systems can adapt to their respective operational environment optimally.

Modern structures can be implemented easily and compact as well as with low-vibration, low-noise function, dimensionally stable or with the potential for structure integrated monitoring by the application of the Adaptive structure technology. This leads to the protection of raw materials, the reduction of environmental stress (resulting from noise and emissions), to a decrease of system and operating costs and a higher functionality and efficiency of systems.

In contrast to the area of mechatronics, which mainly extends the functionality of the existing structure system pertaining to a design point by adding components, the adaptive structure technology pursues two main goals:

1.     Adaptronic allows the continuous intervention in structural-mechanical and structural-dynamic characteristics of the complete system.

2.     The adaptive structure technology is aimed at the optimization of the structural system by replacing structure components with adaptronic, multi-functional (effective in the sensor-actor sense) components to save mass and designed space.

Adaptronic solutions are thus characterized by a functional integration and a certain measure of functional consolidation, i.e. a structural compliant integration of sensor characteristics and actuator components, and an active system intervention while assuming mechanically load-bearing characteristics in the overall structure. They fundamentally expand the structure characteristics and permit the abatement against structural disturbances at their source and in the transmission paths and/or in sensitive system areas. All in all adaptronic can be understood as a logical subsequent technology in the field of mechatronics, which also does not lose its importance.

The aim of the adaptive structure technology is to influence structures. Thereby a new technology is available for the user to optimize his/her products. The main focus of adaptronic in particular is the vibration reduction, noise reduction and the structure integrated damage monitoring. Likewise of importance are the shape control and the fine positioning. Simultaneously, further applications can be derived from the partial competences.