Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM

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

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Digitalization at the Fraunhofer IWM


Workflows, data spaces, digital representations

The focus of the Fraunhofer IWM’s work revolves around materials information and materials data. Via the digitalization of materials, we achieve important contributions regarding the inclusion of processing materials into digitally consistent and connected value chains.


Understanding and influencing the effects and uses of hydrogen on materials

Latest Fraunhofer IWM research news and reports


Research News: Additive manufacturing – simulated from start to finish

(01.02.2023) Additive manufacturing of tools using a laser powder bed fusion process offers a great number of advantages: It is economical, precise and allows for customized solutions. That said, it can be difficult to determine the optimal process parameters, such as the scan speed or power of the laser. For the first time, researchers...


Graphite lubrication now viable for rolling bearings

(11.03.2022) Oil is a well-known and widely used lubricant—less commonplace, however, is the solid lubricant graphite. Although graphite is used at low-contact pressure, the effects that occur here had previously only been understood to a limited extent. It was particularly unclear whether this lubricant could also be used at high-contact pressure...


Research News: Making the mobility of the future safe - Crash test dummies for e-scooters

(10.04.2022) Practical and environmentally friendly, e-scooters offer great flexibility. It is no wonder that more and more people are using this form of transport. However, this rise in popularity has been accompanied by an increase in accidents resulting in severe injuries.


International Conference on Programmable Materials

(06.30.2022) Hybrid Event on July 12-14, 2022. Global challenges such as climate change, renewable energy and individual mobility increase the necessity for a more efficient and sustainable use of our resources. ...


Virtually frictionless — virtual material probe sheds light on the friction gap

(05.19.2022) Ensuring that power plants operate without breaking down and that vehicles run energy-efficiently ultimately depends on just a few atoms. A virtual material probe makes it possible to see, and therefore control, tribological processes at the atomic level. A team of...


Ji-Cheng Zhao receives Humboldt Research Award

(04.11.2022) The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has awarded Ji-Cheng (JC) Zhao from the University of Maryland (USA). He is invited to carry out research projects of his own choice at scientific institutions in Germany. Ji-Cheng (JC) Zhao will be visiting the Fraunhofer IWM, among others, as a guest scientist. 


Online-Workshop »Techcafé« March 29, 2022

(03.16.2022) A hands-on tutorial for developers, ontologists, and MarketPlace users to gain insight into the technical architecture of an open simulation platform. The development of new materials for semiconductor and electronic device industries demands the availability of automated and easily programmable workflows for the optimization of electronic material properties with respect to their driving key performance indicators...


On the way towards fully automated steel analysis

(03.10.2022) To ensure that steel delivers what it promises, its microstructure is analyzed in detail to detect weak points during early stages. Today, this is largely done via visual inspection. Component manufacturers have long desired an automated image analysis method. In a cooperative project, the Fraunhofer IWM has now developed such a method based on neural networks...


Online Workshop »Data-driven modeling and optimization along the processing-structure-properties chain for materials and process design« May 18.-19, 2022

(25.02.2022) Materials and process designs enable the production of highly performant products and reduces production costs and makes production more sustainable...


Online Workshop »The MarketPlace«
February 24, 2022

(02.03.2022) The Materials Modeling industry is confronted with the ever-increasing demand for quick development and market deployment of novel materials. This requires the constant development of novel modelling solutions, easy access to and knowledge of existing models, data, and software solutions, translation services and validation capabilities...


Materials Science and Engineering MSE Congress from 27 to 29 September 2022

(01.28.2022) The German Materials Society (DGM) flagship event – the Materials Science and Engineering Congress (MSE) – will be held as Hybrid Congress. With typically more than 1,500 participants, the biannual MSE is one of the largest English-speaking congresses in the field of Material Science and Engineering across Europe...


Online Workshop on November 24 - 25, 2021: AI for better lifetime predictions

(11.04.2021) Online Workshop: AI, digitalization and materials modeling for better lifetime predictions
In materials and component research, artificial intelligence methodologies will lead to massive upheavals in the coming years. The processes of material development, material processing, lifetime prediction and material characterization will change significantly.  


Localized growth of silicon crystals: Fraunhofer IWM presents the »Triboepitaxy« concept

(10.05.2021) Four scientists from Freiburg have succeeded for the first time to simulate the localized growth of silicon crystals using shear-induced amorphization and recrystallization.  In the future, experts could use this concept to tailor crystalline silicon structures for nanotechnology applications.


AI Methods for Fatigue Behavior Assessment and Component Lifetime Prediction (online workshop)

(10.05.2021) In materials and component research, artificial intelligence methodologies will lead to massive upheavals in the coming years. The processes of material development, material processing, lifetime prediction and material characterization will...