Information about the module

In the module "Lightweight Structures", students gain in-depth knowledge of lightweight structures. Special consideration is given to phenomena of force introduction and the stability of thin-walled structures. A first insight into the functioning and calculation of diaphragm cylinder shells is given.


General data about the module 
Study program

M.Sc. Aerospace engineering

Module number 1068
Trimester Spring trimester (2nd Master trimester)
Work load

150h total, thereof

          48h presence time

          102h self-study


2 TWS lecture

2 TWS excercise

Qualification goals
  1. Students will be familiar with the main mechanisms involved in the introduction of concentrated forces into thin-walled structures. They are able to determine the stresses that occur and assess their effects on practical problems.
  2. Students acquire the ability to classify stability problems of thin-walled rod-like structures. They can determine the stability-critical loads for simple thin-walled structures.
  3. Students will have a basic understanding of the action of diaphragm circular cylinder shells without and with circumferential stiffeners (ribs).



The module is divided into the following sections:

  • Load introduction/diversion, three-belt disc, analytical solution, shear-lag theory
  • Stability of lightweight structures
    • Bar-spring systems, branching problems, breakdown problems, systems with multiple degrees of freedom, combined stresses (interaction formulas)
    • Elastic structures, compression loaded beam with pre-deformation, beam approximation methods, elastically bedded beam, sandwich buckling, flexural torsional buckling, tilting, plate buckling, partial shell instabilities, buckling of circular cylindrical shells, concept of midbearing width and tension field
  • Statics of circular cylindrical shells, transfer matrix of diaphragm shell, circumferentially bending stiff circular cylindrical shell, tension matrix