Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM

Digitalization - The value-added use of materials data

more info

Programmable Materials

more info

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.

more info

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.

more info

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

more info

We are here for you!

Dear clients and project partners, 

The Coronavirus crisis has led to severe restrictions within both the private and business spheres. We have taken a number of precautions in order to keep our institute running. These measures enable us to continue to be there for you. A great many of our employees are now working from their homes. Direct contact has been minimized. Please get in touch with your contact person directly via email. Alternatively, you may send requests to or leave a message at +49 (0)761 5142-0. These will be processed and forwarded immediately.

Thank you, we wish you good health!

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.

Contact Us and together we'll find a customized solution for the challenges you face.

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.

to top

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.

Latest Fraunhofer IWM research news and reports


Almost no evidence of brittleness

(27.07.2020) Regeneratively produced hydrogen is an ideal energy carrier, which will be used in future applications as fuel cells and in cars; it will supplement natural gas as an energy source. But atomic hydrogen often induces brittle behavior in metals at high temperatures. Lukas Gröner of the Fraunhofer IWM, MikroTribologie Centrum µTC, has now developed a robust coating that effectively protects steel from the penetration of hydrogen.


Puzzle about passivation of low-friction, hard carbon coatings solved

(09.06.20) Diamond and diamond-like carbon (DLC) are used as extremely durable surface coatings in frictional contacts – from aerospace components to razors. They reduce friction and wear in bearings and valves by means of so-called passivation layers, which prevent other materials from bonding to the coating. Until now, it was unclear how these passivation layers should be designed to achieve minimal friction...


Characterizing and designing lubricants on the computer

(03.04.2020) Lubricated shafts, bearings and gears only run »like clockwork« when the components slide on a perfect lubricating film, generating as little friction, wear and energy loss as possible. To achieve this, engineers need to know the behavior of the lubricant film in the so-called tribo-contact, which is difficult to measure experimentally...


Highly promising solid electrolytes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries

(07.01.2020) High-performance, long-lasting energy storage devices are crucially important for many future-oriented technologies: e.g. for electromobility, for mobile end devices such as tablets and smartphones as well as for the efficient use of energy from renewable sources...


How to bend flat glass perfectly around corners

(01.10.2019) Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM have developed a new process that can bend sheets of glass to produce angular corners. Unlike conventional processes, this does not impair the optical proper-ties of the glass. Bent glass looks destined to play a key role in future building design, and there are also potential applications in the fields of medical technology and industrial design...


Recyclable lightweight single Component Composite Material developed for Injection-Molded Components

(27.08.2019) Polyethylene (PE) would be an ideal material for lightweight construction: energy-efficient, can be produced from renewable raw materials, almost residue-free recyclable. However, only PE components that are reinforced as composites for example with carbon or glass fibers are truly mechanically resilient. Scientists at the Fraunhofer IWM, MicroTribology Centrum µTC, together with the Freiburg Materials Research Centre and the polyolefin manufacturer LyondellBasell, have now produced and qualified a sustainable "All-PE composite". The trick is that the reinforcing fiber structures are also made of PE and even form themselves during injection molding.


Fostering the Paradigm Shift in Materials Research - International Conference on Programmable Materials


Berlin, 27-29 April 2020

The conference is aimed at scientists and engineers who want to advance programmable materials with multidisciplinary contributions, who want to work on powerful tools for their realization, and who want to contribute to the paradigm shift...


Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Programmable Materials CPM

(14.08.2019) Due to the novelty and the reversed development approach, the research and development of programmable materials requires a completely new research structure.

For programmable materials to become reality, all the scientific disciplines involved, from computer scientists simulating our models to process engineers and basic scientists...