The cost-effective utilization of safety-relevant technical systems and components requires a pre-cise determination of their ‚life cycle´. In addition to the safe operation of such components and systems, the life cycle assessment encompasses the entire product cycle, from the selection of raw materials, the design, manufacturing and service, to the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).

Our research focuses on complementing conventional procedures of life-cycle assessment with corresponding modelling and simulation as well as the development of novel experimental tools for determination of characteristic values of materials and model validation. The further development of material testing technology, especially for coupled load scenarios, in the direction of a sys-tem- and component-oriented testing with the adequate graduation of the methods is also one of the research priorities of the activity field "Life Cycle of Components".

This research area concentrates on the use of innovative materials (e.g. composites and high-performance materials) and manufacturing technologies (e.g. novel welding techniques) for safe-ty-relevant systems and their components. For this we consider a wide selection of loading scenarios and more importantly the ever-increasing trend to design components and systems at the limit of their durability. We consider the expansion of the use cases of tailor-made materials for certain applications to further fields, as well as the increasing importance of innovative manufacturing processes such as "additive manufacturing" for the fabrication of safety-relevant components.

We also investigate existing systems and components whose service life has to be extended as far as possible beyond what was originally planned. Here, the primary aim of our investigations is to deliver precise information about the remaining service life to enable targeted inspection, maintenance, repair and overhaul measures. We effectively utilize our longstanding expertise in the inter-disciplinary failure analysis not only for the investigation of failure mechanisms of components but also to continuously improve our life-cycle assessment.