317.531 Lightweight Structures
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2020W, VU, 4.0h, 5.0EC


  • Semester hours: 4.0
  • Credits: 5.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Distance Learning

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to:

  • design structures from the perspective of lightweight construction in such a way that they have the lowest possible mass when fulfilling the requirements for their use based on the fundamentals of strength of materials, machine elements, materials science and engineering design. Students are thus able to
  • list lightweight construction measures and describe typical lightweight construction methods
  • deal with the fundamentals of stress analysis as well as basic and lightweight-relevant aspects of classical plasticity theory
  • calculate stress states in homogeneous and inhomogeneous bending beams with elastic material behavior as well as residual stress states in homogeneous bending beams with elastoplastic material behavior, when loaded beyond the elastic limit
  • estimate the fatigue behavior of cyclically inelastically  loaded structures using Melan's shake down theorem
  • evaluate materials for their suitability for lightweight design
  • describe the technological basics of fiber-reinforced plastics
  • analyze multilayer composite shells made of fiber composite materials using the simplified laminate theory
  • explain the simplifying assumptions of the shear web theory to apply this theory to strength analysis of orthogonally stiffened thin-walled structures
  • calculate stresses and deformations  in rod-shaped, thin-walled lightweight constructions with open and closed profile cross-sections under transverse loading and torsion
  • apply the force and the  displacement method to statically indeterminate, linear elastic lightweight constructions
  • explain the difference between a continuous system and a system discretized with Ritz approach and to apply the Ritz method
  • describe different types of loss of stability of equilibrium loss using load-displacement diagrams of specific lightweight constructions and evaluate the influence of imperfections and post-buckling behavior
  • explain instabilities on different length scales
  • describe the stability behavior of thin-walled lightweight structures (bars, plates, shells) and perform stability analyses
  • tell the principles, designs  and fields of application of sandwich constructions as well as their advantages and disadvantages
  • explain forms of stability loss of sandwich panels and to determine corresponding critical loads
  • provide an overview of the principles of linear elastic fracture mechanics for monotonic and cyclic loads and to carry out analyses of components containing cracks with regard to fracture and crack propagation.

Subject of course

  • Applications and measures of Lightweight Design
  • Lightweight construction methods
  • Lightweight-relevant fundamental methods of stress analysis including basic aspects of the classical plasticity theory
  • Materials for light weight structures and their properties (especially composite materials and compounds)
  • Lightweight idealization concepts for shear webs and thin walled slender lightweight constructions
  • Force and the  displacement method
  • Methods of the stability analysis of light weight structures e.g. beams, trusses, shells
  • Sandwich structures
  • Basic principles of linear elastic fracture mechanics

Teaching methods

Lecture: Frontal presentation with slides. The subject matter is explained on the basis of real show pieces, videos, experiments. Additional notes and explanations are discussed on the board.
Tutorial: the methods of lightweight design are applied to on practice relevant examples. Exercises on the current contents are handed out, the solutions of whichare prepared and presented by the students in the following practice session. In addition, to refresh the fundamentals needed in lightweight construction at the beginning of the semester, two LVA units are offered: "Grundlagenauffrischung Teil 1 & Teil 2".

Mode of examination


Additional information

The course notes for lectures and tutorials can be downloaded  in TISS (only for personal use!) in the end of September..



Course dates

Mon10:00 - 12:0005.10.2020 (LIVE)Leichtbau VU - Lecture
Tue08:00 - 10:0006.10.2020 - 15.12.2020 (LIVE)Leichtbau-VU Tutorial
Wed10:00 - 12:0007.10.2020 - 27.01.2021 (LIVE)Leichtbau VU - Lecture
Fri09:00 - 09:3023.10.2020 - 30.10.2020 (LIVE)Leichtbau UE Besprechung HUE
Mon09:00 - 09:3009.11.2020 - 23.11.2020 (LIVE)Leichtbau UE Besprechung HUE
Mon09:00 - 09:3014.12.2020 (LIVE)Leichtbau UE Besprechung HUE
Mon09:00 - 09:3011.01.2021 - 18.01.2021 (LIVE)Leichtbau UE Besprechung HUE
Tue08:00 - 10:0012.01.2021 - 19.01.2021 (LIVE)Leichtbau-VU Tutorial
Tue08:00 - 10:0026.01.2021 (LIVE)Leichtbau-VU 2. Kolloquium
Lightweight Structures - Single appointments
Mon05.10.202010:00 - 12:00 Leichtbau VU - Lecture
Tue06.10.202008:00 - 10:00 Leichtbau-VU Tutorial
Wed07.10.202010:00 - 12:00 Leichtbau VU - Lecture
Tue13.10.202008:00 - 10:00 Leichtbau-VU Tutorial
Wed14.10.202010:00 - 12:00 Leichtbau VU - Lecture
Tue20.10.202008:00 - 10:00 Leichtbau-VU Tutorial
Wed21.10.202010:00 - 12:00 Leichtbau VU - Lecture
Fri23.10.202009:00 - 09:30 Leichtbau UE Besprechung HUE
Tue27.10.202008:00 - 10:00 Leichtbau-VU Tutorial
Wed28.10.202010:00 - 12:00 Leichtbau VU - Lecture
Fri30.10.202009:00 - 09:30 Leichtbau UE Besprechung HUE
Tue03.11.202008:00 - 10:00 Leichtbau-VU Tutorial
Wed04.11.202010:00 - 12:00 Leichtbau VU - Lecture
Mon09.11.202009:00 - 09:30 Leichtbau UE Besprechung HUE
Tue10.11.202008:00 - 10:00 Leichtbau-VU Tutorial
Wed11.11.202010:00 - 12:00 Leichtbau VU - Lecture
Mon16.11.202009:00 - 09:30 Leichtbau UE Besprechung HUE
Tue17.11.202008:00 - 10:00 Leichtbau-VU Tutorial
Wed18.11.202010:00 - 12:00 Leichtbau VU - Lecture
Mon23.11.202009:00 - 09:30 Leichtbau UE Besprechung HUE

Examination modalities

The grading of this LVA takes place via the evaluation of the following partial examinations:

- Part 1: accompanying performance evaluation of written tasks for the practical application of the content of the lecture. There are 2 colloquia with corresponding replacement colloquia offered. For the assessment of Part 1, the results of the 1st colloquium or 1st substitute colloquium and the 2nd colloquium or 2nd substitute colloquium are used. It is positive if at least 10 out of the maximum 20 points were achieved in the two colloquia. The participation in the substitute colloquia is intended for those students who were prevented (ill) at the respective regular colloquium or were assessed negatively.

By working out and presenting the homework examples, the number of points can be changed by -1 to +2 points. The prerequisite for the crediting of these points is that the total number of points from both colloquia is greater or equal 10. By crediting minus points, a positive result for part 1 cannot become negative due to the colloquia. In this case, the minus points apply to the overall result (parts 1 + 2).

The elaboration takes place in groups of 3-4 students depending on the number of participants.
- Part 2: final written/oral theoretical part of the examination. This can only be completed after a positive assessment of Part 1. After successfully completing part 2 of the examination, by achieving at least 10 of the maximum possible 20 points, the overall grade of the lightweight design lecture VU is determined on the basis of the results achieved in parts 1 and 2.

Students who have successfully completed written part 1 of Leichtbau VU in the winter semesters 2015/2016, 2016/17 or 2017/18 can also take part 2 as a written theoretical exam.

It is necessary to register for the colloquia as well as for the written theoretical part 2 in TISS. If you do not unsubscribe in time (up to two days before the respective date), you will be banned for the following 8 weeks!

At the colloquia you are allowed to use your own notes and paper copies of the scripts as well as printed literature. If documents other than the scripts are used, this must be documented in the written examination by citation.
The use of calculators - without combination with the following listed electronic devices - is allowed at the colloquia. The use of the Internet and the use of mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops and other electronic means of communication during the colloquium is prohibited! In the written theoretical part 2, neither documents nor electronic aids are allowed.


DayTimeDateRoomMode of examinationApplication timeApplication modeExam
Fri08:00 - 12:0028.01.2022 oral14.01.2022 08:00 - 26.01.2022 08:00TISSLeichtbau-VU theoretischer muendlicher Prüfungsteil

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
17.09.2020 09:00 27.11.2020 09:00 29.06.2021 09:00

Group Registration

GroupRegistration FromTo
Theoretische muendliche Pruefung 29.01.202112.01.2021 11:0027.01.2021 07:59


Study CodeSemesterPrecon.Info
033 245 Mechanical Engineering STEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase
033 282 Mechanical Engineering - Management STEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase
066 434 Materials Sciences
066 445 Mechanical Engineering
066 445 Mechanical Engineering STEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase
066 482 Mechanical Engineering - Management
066 482 Mechanical Engineering - Management STEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase


The Manuscripts of  both lecture parts will be available in TISS in the end of September.

Previous knowledge

Knowledge in solid mechanics