Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM

Whether you are in business or a public institution, we address your materials related research and development concerns in application-oriented projects – from damage analysis to process development to materials innovations.

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We realize solutions for the optimized use of material properties to improve the reliability, life expectancy and safety of components and develop new materials as well as resource-efficient manufacturing processes.

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Our research concerning material changes in processes and components enables us to develop material models, characterizations and simulation methodologies for our clients.

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Sustainable solutions for the optimized use of material properties and new material functions

The Fraunhofer IWM is a research and development partner for industry and public contracting bodies concerning the topics of component and systems reliability, safety, durability and functionality. The Fraunhofer IWM’s »mechanics of materials« approach is used to identify weaknesses and defects in materials and components, determine their causes and develop solutions that lead to the safer use of components as well as the development of functional materials and resource efficient manufacturing processes.

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Range of services at the Fraunhofer IWM

Solutions to avoid and control defects, crack formation, deformation, fracture, failure, wear and fatigue in materials and components when taxed with mechanical, thermal, chemical or electrical loads

Material characterization, component testing, damage analyses, failure diagnosis and microstructural analysis

Materials modeling, process and component simulation on the atomic, microscopic and/or macroscopic scale

Surface layer assessment, coatings, tribology, functionalization, bio-surface and interfacial analysis

Process and material development

Visit the Fraunhofer IWM Business Unit page that best fits your endeavor. Not sure where to begin? Contact Us and we’ll be happy to help you find the right place to start.

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Latest Fraunhofer IWM research news and reports


Z-Ultra ready to use: New chromium steels for high-temperature applications

(21.12.16) As the most important industrial construction material, with more than 2,500 grades, steel is highly specialized for diverse applications. Even the smallest changes of the composition can modify the material structure on an atomic scale and improve material properties on the macroscale. The consortium of the EU-project Z-Ultra ...


New microstructural model for long fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFTs)

(10.11.16) The automotive industry uses long fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFTs) when manufacturing lightweight structural parts such as bumper brackets or door modules. Accurate simulation methods are needed to exploit their maximum lightweight potential. Therefore, the material’s microstructure needs to ...


3D printing: customized insoles for diabetes patients - Research News

(2.11.2016) Additive manufacturing: In the past, insoles for patients with diabetes were hand-made by orthopedic shoemakers. In the future, these specialist shoemakers will be able to produce insoles more cost-effectively thanks to new software and the use of 3D printers.This approach means the mechanical properties of each insole can be assessed scientifically and more...


European project RAISELIFE to enhance the lifetime of materials for Concentrated Solar Power

(25.8.2016) In Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants, the quality and durability of the employed functional materials have a high impact on the cost of the produced solar heat or electricity. Eleven European partners from the R&D sector, universities and industry affiliated together with the ...


Computational high-throughput screening finds hard magnets containing less rare earth elements

(25.5.2016) Permanent magnets are very important for technologies of the future like electromobility and renewable energy, and rare earth elements (REE) are necessary for their manufacture. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, has now succeeded in ...


Surface wetting – tracking down the causes of polar hydrophobicity

(12.5.2016) The question of whether a liquid beads or adheres to a surface plays a role in almost all branches of industry. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg and ExxonMobil Research & Engineering in New Jersey have now developed a multiscale simulation method for predicting ...


Making sure that packaging is properly sealed

(1.5.2016) If food packaging or drug packaging is not properly sealed when the customer buys the product, it reflects poorly on the manufacturer. In the future, a thin-film temperature sensor will allow companies to carry out fast and reliable inline detection and rejection of packaging which has been incorrectly sealed.


Improving dental hygiene products through virtual brushing

(29.2.2016) Testing toothpastes and toothbrushes Designing toothpastes and toothbrushes is a time-consuming process involving the production and testing of numerous samples. Using a new type of simulation, various parameters such as bristle shape and abrasive particle size can be modified with just a click. This enables manufacturers to improve the quality of new dental care products and bring them ...


Prof. Dr. Peter Gumbsch elected to join the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE)

(12.2.2016) On February 8, 2016, Prof. Dr. Peter Gumbsch, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany and Professor of Mechanics of Materials at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT, was elected for membership in the USA’s National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Prof. Gumbsch ...


Grinding the hardest to reach places within a component

(25.1.2016) It’s long established that flow grinding can be utilized to grind and polish the inner surfaces of components such as corners and drill holes: a fluid containing grinding particles is pumped through the component. However, flow dead zones can arise when a component has a complex form. In these cases, the flow stagnates at a specific spot, which results in the grinding process being ineffective in that area...


Award worthy: Innovative modelling approach for efficiently designed copper connectors

(18.11.2015) Manufacturers of copper connectors and other copper parts can now develop their products less expensively, more reliably and with a more durable design than was previously possible. This is made possible via a new material model for process and component simulation...


Foundation of new Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS

(15.10.2015) The Halle (Saale) branch of the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM will become an independent Fraunhofer Institute on 1 January 2016 following a decision made by the Senate of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft on 7 October 2015. More than 200 employees ...