With innovative measurement and evaluation methods, we help to ensure that highly stressed components can be used safely. In addition, targeted surface modification can extend service life, allowing products to be operated more sustainably.
For the first time, this handy diffractometer enables a measurement time of one minute for the punctual determination of residual stress. This is significantly faster compared to one hour with conventional methods and now enables close-meshed and large-area mappings in conjunction with a robotic arm. These large-area mappings can have a side length of up to half a meter and can be carried out in any orientation in space.
This opens up completely new possibilities for automated determination of residual stress fields over large areas. For example, residual stress gradients in welded joints can be investigated in detail, and surfaces of additively manufactured components can be measured and evaluated. These measurements can be performed on a wide variety of materials such as metals, for instance steel and aluminum as well as ceramics.
Due to the small size of the device, residual stresses can now be determined in places that are difficult to reach for conventional devices.
In this process, a powder layer is locally heated by a laser. The powder particles melt and fuse, then the material solidifies. By repeating this process on several layers, a three-dimensional part is produced. In addition to the geometry, we are especially interested in the mechanical properties of the finished part. These depend on its microstructure. The inter-dependencies between laser irradiation, melting and solidification, microstructure evolution and mechanical properties are complex. The simulations conducted at Fraunhofer IWM support our clients with a better understanding of the fabrication of their parts. To take this a step further, we present this series of videos in which we explain all aspects of the process simulation on the microstructure scale.
Hydrogen plays a prominent role in all future scenarios of the energy industry. As a connecting element between the different areas of energy supply, hydrogen contributes to the sustainable conversion, storage and use of energy. Hydrogen technology supports the expansion of renewable energy systems and the avoidance of CO2 emissions. Regarding production and operation, hydrogen stored in atomic form can trigger structural damage mechanisms that cause component failure. Therefore, in order to ensure safe operation and a long service life of systems in contact with hydrogen, diffusion, reaction and damage processes must be taken into account during the development, production and use of many materials, especially high-performance materials in contact with hydrogen.
The focus here revolves around the evaluation of safety as well as the suitability for use of components with high safety requirements under operationally relevant loads. The range of applications extends from the safety verification of power plant components, fault tolerance verification of aerospace components, service life analysis of thermomechanically stressed components in power plants and automobiles and crash analyses of vehicle components. In addition to the application behavior of modern materials, joints, joining and hybrid construction methods are of central importance. We develop and use mechanism-based material models to describe the deformation and failure behavior of components under thermal and mechanical stress.
Dr. Michael Luke illustrates how material deformation, damage and crack formation affect component functionality and service life.
Hydrogen can enter materials through various processes - through loading with gaseous hydrogen and through electrochemical processes such as corrosion or galvanic coating. The topic of hydrogen embrittlement of metals is becoming increasingly important in the transport and energy sector, as hydrogen is seen as one of the most important future sources of energy. The associated development of new technologies for the production, distribution and use of hydrogen as an energy source requires the qualification of existing and newly developed materials for these applications. For this reason, the Fraunhofer IWM has developed novel test rigs for hydrogen embrittlement in metals - a hollow sample test rig and an autoclave for hydrogen loading with in situ testing of samples.
Dr. Ken Wackermann demonstrates the importance of hydrogen embrittlement testing.
Materials data and information hold a huge potential for value creation and innovation. The key to success is to digitally map materials with their properties, functions and behavior. By making information on changing material properties in the product life cycle consistently available and by incorporating material science evaluation into production, new design possibilities are opening up for the reliability and functionality of components as well as the efficiency of manufacturing processes.
The Fraunhofer IWM has set itself the goal of standardizing and facilitating the handling of materials information. Together with strategic project partners, initial frameworks for this are being developed in current lighthouse projects. These frameworks are intended to structure decentralized materials data in a uniform way – and critically to make it accessible - while of course ensuring data security and data sovereignty.
Atomistic simulation methods can help to replace materials such as rare earth elements through the search for alternative materials. With simulations based on solid state physics and material-mechanical experiments, we clarify materials behavior and predict material properties. This enables us to design materials structures and functions in a targeted manner. We use this knowledge to identify resource and energy-efficient combinations of materials that will improve technical systems in the long term.
Atomistic simulation methods can help replace materials such as rare earth elements by searching for alternative materials.