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The Institute of Thermal and Fluid Engineering possesses an excellent laboratory and simulation infrastructure.

Both the experimental facilities and the simulation infrastructure provide comprehensive access to industrial assignments in applied research and development.

Flow channels

  • Wind tunnels up to 60 m/s
  • Atomising test benches and spray wind tunnel
  • Water channels with flow rates up to 1 m3/s

Pumps, compressors, ventilators, turbines

  • High-pressure pumps up to 10,000 bar
  • Air compressors up to 40 bar
  • A diverse range of axial and radial ventilators
  • Pelton turbine with recovery
  • Contact-free gas compressor

Steam facilities (Königsfelden Energy Centre)

  • Mini steam power plant (2 MW thermal) with boiler, steam turbine, generator, radial compressor
  • Steam from boiler house (16 bar, 320 °C, up to 0.2 kg/s)
  • Steam flow test bench

Combustion engines

  • Engine test benches with cutting-edge indication measurement systems

Combustion test benches

  • Atmospheric combustion test benches for the analysis of new fuels for furnaces (30 kW)
  • Liquid-gas combustion systems
  • Scaled, high-pressure combustion test bench up to 30 bar, 150 kW (in collaboration with an industrial partner)

Measurement technology: flow, combustion, heat transfer etc.

  • Laser, continuous and pulsed
  • LDA/PDA (Laser Doppler Anemometry, Phase Doppler Anemometry)
  • LIF (Laser Induced Fluorescence), particle tracking, shadowgraphy
  • Particle sizing, laser defraction (Malvern, Spraytec)
  • 3D imaging/PIV system, spray PIV, strain PIV
  • High-resolution high-speed camera with IRO
  • Sensor systems for pressure, temperature, throughflow, force
  • Data capture and processing systems (e.g. LabVIEW)

Additional infrastructure

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
  • Cutting-edge video microscopy
  • 3D scanning, Rapid Prototyping
  • Large test laboratory (stress, strain, dynamics, modal analysis, hydropulser)
  • Material testing laboratory

Casting technology

IT infrastructure: simulation, visualisation and optimisation of elaborate processes

Ever shorter product lifecycles and increasingly tough competition require simulation and optimisation methods that can respond directly and efficiently to changes in production parameters.

Expertise in modelling, methodology and software is necessary in order to be able to carry out applied research and development projects, as well as the appropriate experimental infrastructure.

  • Linux simulation cluster with almost 10 TFLOPS of computational power (almost 300 processor cores, more than 3.1 TB of RAM, Nvidia Tesla graphics acceleration)
  • Simulation software: Abaqus, Ansys (CFX, Fluent, Mechanical), Comsol Multiphysics, Flow3D, MagmaSoft, Matlab, Numeca, OpenFOAM, Python and more)


Prof. Dr. Beat Ribi
Prof. Dr. Beat Ribi

Head of FHNW Institute of Thermal and Fluid Engineering

Telephone +41 56 202 74 34 (direct)