Press

On this page you can view or order our various publications, find out about about our upcoming events and get more detailed information about the Fraunhofer IWM. By scrolling farther down this page you can see the complete list of our press releases and news articles, which are also searchable by date or keyword.  

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  • Special coating protects steel from hydrogen ‘attack’ / 2020

    Almost no evidence of brittleness

    July 27, 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. The barrier effect of this so-called MAX-phase layer is 3500 times greater than that of untreated steel. He published his results in the journal materials (doi: 10.3390/ma13092085).

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  • Calculation of dry friction using molecular dynamics simulations / 2020

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

    June 09, 2020

    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. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM, MicroTribology Centrum µTC, have now achieved a breakthrough in understanding the relationship between passivation and friction. The unexpected results have been published in the journal "ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces".

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  • Computational models based on molecular structure properties / 2020

    Characterizing and designing lubricants on the computer

    April 03, 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. In order to ascertain such behavior, the Fraunhofer IWM, MicroTribology Center μTC makes lubricant properties calculable using atomistic methods and has recently published exciting findings on one of the central parameters, the pressure dependence of lubricant viscosity, in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

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  • Atomistic simulations speed up research on exciting new battery materials / 2020

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

    January 07, 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. Dr. Daniel Mutter from the Freiburg-based Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials (IWM) was able to clarify what the chemical composition of solid ceramic electrolytes should be in order to ensure good performance in lithium-ion batteries. The research was published in the Journal of Applied Physics (https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5091969). Such solid electrolytes are more environmentally friendly than traditional liquid electrolytes and could make lithium-ion batteries significantly safer and more efficient.

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  • Innovative glass-bending process heralds exciting new applications / 2019

    How to bend flat glass perfectly around corners

    October 01, 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 properties 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.

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  • All-Polyethylene single Component Composite Material / 2019

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

    August 27, 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.

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  • Start of joint project »Innovation Platform MaterialDigitial« / 2019

    Accessing materials data faster, more reliably and more easily: Shaping scientific knowledge into a data platform

    August 06, 2019

    How will scientific work and product development evolve in the future? How will we share new insights with colleagues, who might work on the other side of the planet? Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the joint project »Innovation Platform MaterialDigitial« has recently been established to pave the way towards a digital infrastructure for material science research data. The objective is to create a virtual materials data space that allows a systematic handling of materials data.

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  • Environmentally friendly slide bearings with water lubrication / 2019

    Sliding along on water

    July 01, 2019

    Machine bearings are usually lubricated with various oils. But today large quantities of these oils still end up in the environment. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM, MicroTribology Centrum μTC has developed a method which will in the future make it possible to lubricate slide bearings using water, a much more environmentally friendly approach.

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  • Truck tires with less abrasion / 2019

    Synthetic rubber outperforms natural rubber

    April 05, 2019

    Natural rubber from rubber trees is a raw material with a limited supply. Synthetically produced rubber, on the other hand, has not yet been able to match the abrasion behavior of the natural product, rendering it unsuitable for truck tires. But now, for the first time, a new type of synthetic rubber has been developed that achieves 30 to 50 percent less abrasion than natural rubber.

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  • Fraunhofer lighthouse project for quantum technology launched in Freiburg / 2019

    Quantum Magnetometers for Industrial Applications

    April 01, 2019

    On April 1, 2019, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft launches the lighthouse project »Quantum Magnetometry« (QMag): Freiburg’s Fraunhofer institutes IAF, IPM and IWM aim to transfer quantum magentometry from the field of university research to industrial applications. In close cooperation with another three Fraunhofer institutes (IMM, IISB and CAP), the research team develops highly integrated imaging quantum magnetometers with highest spatial resolution and sensitivity.

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