EVERGLASS partners wins Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2024

Simulations and digital twins are crucial to develop new technologies.

Highly dynamic processes often cannot be satisfactorily mapped with conventional software. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM have developed an innovative method to simulate complex processes with significant time and cost savings called MESHFREE. Their efforts earned the 2024 Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize.

This prize, which comes with 50,000 euros in prize money, has been awarded biennially by the Stifterverband and Fraunhofer for more than 20 years. Research projects conducted by Fraunhofer institutes in collaboration with industry or other research organizations are recognized for their scientific excellence.

Meshfree Power the EVERGLASS Prototype

The EVERGLASS project is leveraging this cutting-edge technology to develop a laser-based glass recycling prototype. The MESHFREE simulation tool will be pivotal in predicting how this recycling process will work. The tool allows for detailed simulation of the glass recycling process using laser technology. This provides a virtual environment to test and refine the system before physical implementation.

The MESHFREE approach makes it possible to virtualize highly complex and dynamic situations, in some cases for the very first time. The result is a simulation tool with a distinctive selling point: Worldwide, no other tool makes the Generalized Finite Difference Method (GFDM) usable in industrial applications.

A Flexible Method for Dynamic Processes

Traditionally, simulations use the finite element method, in which engineers design a mesh that fits the relevant geometry and employ it as a basis for computing the changes in each individual element. The initial process of setting up the mesh structure is extremely time-consuming, and frequent adjustments are required during the simulation. The MESHFREE software, by contrast, combines the Generalized Finite Difference Method, which it uses to solve the conservation equations of mass, momentum, and energy. It also uses efficient algorithms for solving linear equation systems. They offer a huge advantage since the cloud of numerical points used can adapt flexibly to moving geometries.

By employing the MESHFREE simulation tool, the EVERGLASS project will optimize the laser recycling process, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness while minimizing costly real-world trials. This innovation not only accelerates development but also ensures that the upcoming laser prototype operates at peak performance, contributing to more sustainable glass recycling methods.

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