Whether machine feet, vibration control measures such as vibration dampers and flexible couplings, or even simple components such as springs in valves: For optimal function of the overall system, it is often advantageous to adapt its structural dynamic properties such as stiffness and damping to changing requirements or boundary conditions. Fraunhofer LBF is continuously developing application-oriented technologies to enable these adaptations.
These technologies include devices to enable the adjustability of the translational stiffness  or torsional stiffness  of components. If, in addition, the damping of the component is to be made independently adjustable, this can be achieved with a developed device with the working title "Adjustable Elastomer" .
All these solutions have in common that the adjustment is stepless, the solutions are scalable in a wide range ("mm to m", "N to kN") and can be executed very simply - e.g. without actuators or power supply.
These technologies can be integrated into customers' products or be the basis for new products at our customers.
On the way from research to customer application, the process shown in Fig. 2 has become established. In the first step, the technical and economic requirements for the solution to be developed are defined together with the customer. Often, these are technically very challenging.
Based on this, various concepts are then developed and evaluated against the background of the specified requirements. Depending on the problem, numerical and experimental methods are used. This phase is followed by prototype or product development, in which Fraunhofer LBF supports the customer as required. If licensing of existing Fraunhofer property rights is necessary for subsequent product sale by the customer, agreement on the conditions usually begins towards the end of the concept and evaluation phase, as soon as it is foreseeable that there is a technically and economically feasible solution.
Particularly in the case of cooperation with SMEs, two points have emerged over the last few years as obstacles on the way to getting the technologies into use: 1) the relatively complex process of designing the technologies for a specific application and 2) the question of the application-specific fatiguee life of the resulting solutions. Both issues are addressed in the internal research project AgiDyS. A largely automated design procedure is being developed with the help of which the technologies can be quickly adapted to different applications. The basis for this design procedure is a numerical method for calculating the expected fatigue life of the respective solution, which was experimentally validated as part of the project.
This makes it possible to evaluate the performance of the technology in a new application quickly and efficiently, making the technologies more interesting, especially for interested SMEs.
The AgiDyS project is funded by Fraunhofer headquarters as part of the SME program (rapid SME-oriented in-house research).
Patents:  EP2694836B1,  EP2786040B1,  EP3334953A1
Area of Expertise: Digital Engineering