Plastics Symposium 2019 - Designing for plastics in theory and practice

After a successful kick-off in 2018, Merkle & Partner again took the opportunity to advance the state of the art for realistic, fast and economical design of plastic and elastomer components.


After a successful start in 2018, Merkle & Partner again took the opportunity to advance the current state of the art for realistic, fast and economic design of plastic and elastomer components.

This year's symposium was embedded in the 3-year ZIM research project "Development of a method for realistic, fast and economic calculation and design of plastic and elastomer components", SmartSim for short.
The research project is carried out in partnership cooperation between the engineering office Merkle & Partner and Aalen University, represented by the Institute of Polymer Science and Processing (iPSP) - Prof. Achim Frick. Technological support is provided by the Steinbeis Transfer Center "Polymer Engineering (PETZ) - Aalen".

This year, the participants were once again able to enjoy a wide range of specialist presentations.

At the opening, founder and managing director Stefan Merkle did not miss the opportunity to address a few words to his guests. In addition to the presentation of the company with exciting as well as humorous excursions into the history of Merkle & Partner, the entrepreneur spoke about the history of plastics calculation from its beginnings to the current state.

But also the development of the further fields of activity as well as exciting current topics, which Merkle & Partner calculates for its customers with the help of complex geometry and complex physics in the areas of structural as well as fluid mechanics, became a topic.

The first session of technical presentations was started by Laura Kamps from Busse Design with a topic that is increasingly becoming the focus of interest today: sustainability and, in particular, the sustainability of products made of plastics.

Antonios Petropoulos and Dr. Robert Wesenjak from e-Xtrem Engineering presented the Digimat software solution, which contributes to a significant improvement in the quality of results by taking into account anisotropies in fiber-reinforced plastics. Merkle & Partner also uses Digimat for integrative simulation.

Robert Boßler from Aalen University concluded the morning session with investigations of fiber orientations in different short-fiber-reinforced test specimens.

Of course, the physical well-being was also well taken care of. Besides tasty appetizers and enough to drink during the symposium, the lunch break was used to taste the local Swabian specialties in a Heidenheim restaurant.

In the afternoon, Prof. Achim Frick and his team from Aalen University then demonstrated how plastics react differently to media depending on their chemical structure and possible additives.

Initiator and organizer Dr. Maik Brehm, head of the structural mechanics division at Merkle & Partner, concluded the session with possibilities of numerical simulation for calculating the diffusion of media in plastics, followed by a final discussion.

"The professional exchange in a familiar environment was very pleasant. The discussions were open and very constructive. In my eyes, a very successful and successful event. We are absolutely satisfied. I am looking forward to the upcoming projects and of course to the Plastics Symposium next year." 

Dr. Maik Brehm additionally offered an introductory seminar on plastics technology on the day before this year's symposium. Ferdinand Lang, team leader at Merkle & Partner, together with Prof. Achim Frank and his team from Aalen University of Applied Sciences, organized an extensive program in which the first basics of the classification of plastics and their properties, aspects of the design, manufacture and processing of plastics suitable for plastics, as well as possibilities for numerical simulation for the design of plastic components were covered.

"The mixture of practice and theory was very well received by our customers. I had a lot of constructive discussions and noticed how positively the symposium was received. We see potential for the future and will invite people to the Plastics Symposium again next year," said Dipl. Ing. Stefan Merkle, summing up the Plastics Symposium 2019.

Merkle & Partner would like to thank all participants as well as speakers for the successful symposium.

For further information on plastics, please visit the plastics section of our website or contact us. Dr. Maik Brehm is at your disposal here.