PbL develops lightweight crane

Successful completion of the research project "Development of a novel, modular lightweight lifting system in hybrid design for mobile use"

In the research project, a lightweight lifting system for construction sites was developed using advanced numerical simulation and calculation applications as well as high-performance materials. On the one hand, fuel is achieved during transport due to the reduced dead weight, and on the other hand, this can be done by drivers with a low driver's license class. The latter ensures the fast and flexible setup of the lifting system at changing locations.
We would like to thank our project partner Richert Industrietechnik GmbH for the good cooperation and the BMWK for funding the research project as part of the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM) of the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF).

In the project, several crane geometries were first investigated in a parametric optimization analysis using simplified models, testing different cross-sectional sizes (tubes and structural elements). This enabled the lightest structure to be found, taking into account the project requirements.
Based on the results of these analyses, the lightest geometry meeting the strength and safety requirements was selected and designed in detail. The components connecting the boom and the mast were analyzed in a finite element analysis (FEA) and adjusted to reduce stresses.
Concluding the design and layout, a more complete finite element model of the lifting system was created, which allows the global and local behavior of the crane and its components to be studied in detail. With this model, it is possible to study different static, quasi-static and dynamic load cases such as lifting and moving a load, a stability analysis and rope breakage. These calculations were carried out for the three materials CFRP, GFRP and aluminum.

The implementation of a demonstrator was carried out using modern manufacturing processes of the Department of Polymer-Based Lightweight Design and the CreativeOpenLab of the BTU Cottbus - Senftenberg.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Seidlitz
Polymerbasierter Leichtbau
T +49 (0) 355 69-2344

Carlos Henrique Coelho Saunders
Polymerbasierter Leichtbau
T +49 (0) 355 69-3829