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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  • Hybrid Event on July 12-14, 2022 / 2022

    International Conference on Programmable Materials

    June 29, 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. Programmable materials have the potential to initiate a paradigm shift in the design and use of materials by replacing technical systems of many components and materials with a single, locally configured one. The first international conference on programmable materials aims to facilitate this paradigm shift for materials science. It creates the interdisciplinary scientific platform to accelerate the development, production and application of programmable materials. For more info, registration and for detailed program information visit www.progmatcon.com. #ProgMatCon22

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  • 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 researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM is being awarded the Stifterverband Science Prize 2022 for this development.

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  • Evaluating the microstructure of high-performance steels using neural networks / 2022

    On the way towards fully automated steel analysis

    March 08, 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. It delivers reliable and reproducible results and is a fundamental building block for the end-to-end digitalization of steel processing within Industry 4.0. The results have now been published in the scientific journals “Nature Communications” and “npj – computational materials”.

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  • 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. By combining AI methods and new forms of knowledge representation, the data-based management of product life cycles will take on new qualities. To address this emerging field of research Fraunhofer IWM set up the online workshop »AI Methods for Fatigue Behavior Assessment and Component Lifetime Prediction« on November 24 and 25, 2021.

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  • 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, such as nanoelectronics. “Triboepitaxy”, the fundamental idea that could make this possible, is presented by the team in the journal “Physical Review Letters”.

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  • BMBF Hydrogen Flagship Project H2Mare for Offshore Hydrogen Production / 2021

    Storing hydrogen safely: Fraunhofer IWM evaluates materials for tubular storage systems

    September 28, 2021

    Hydrogen has an important role to play in the energy transition. Science and industry are currently working on storage and transport systems for hydrogen. The basis for this is to precisely describe and assess the behavior of metallic materials, especially steels, when they are in contact with hydrogen. As part of the BMBF lead project H2Mare, the Fraunhofer IWM will develop and evaluate criteria for assessing materials and components for so-called tubular storage systems in the joint project H2Wind. The findings will contribute to the accident-proof and durable operation of a real storage infrastructure for hydrogen.

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  • Deciphering wear with friction tests and atomistic simulations / 2021

    Interaction between DLC coatings and ZDDP lubricant: it all depends on the right hardness!

    August 17, 2021

    In combustion engines, in plain bearings and in aerospace: diamond-like carbon coatings (DLC) reduce friction and wear in frictional contacts. In most cases, the lubricants used in bearings and engines contain the additive zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP), which in turn protects steel surfaces against wear. Unfortunately, it can attack the DLC layer, leading to premature failure. Researchers at the Fraunhofer IWM have discovered how the antagonistic interaction between the two substances occurs. In the journal Nature Communications, they explain why DLC layers can also be too hard in combination with ZDDP.

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  • In a collaborative effort to tackle the enormous challenge of building a common National Research Data Infrastructure NFDI, entire research areas across Germany are working together in subject-specific consortia. As one of ten consortia in the second round, NFDI-MatWerk is now receiving five years of funding for Materials Science and Engineering. The consortium consists of renowned research organizations, including 10 applicants and 15 associated partners and is represented by the speaker Prof. Dr. Chris Eberl from Fraunhofer Institute for Materials Mechanics. It focuses on the infrastructure development for a shared materials data space.

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  • Pioneering work for the application of integrated material data rooms / 2020

    Fraunhofer IWM closes gaps in the mechanics of materials digital value chain

    November 24, 2020

    The greatest potential of digitalization in companies in which materials play a prominent role lies in the cross-process linking of materials data. This promises to shorten component development times, faster optimization of complex manufacturing processes and more reliable plant operation. The problem is the very heterogeneous nature of materials data, which makes linking within this data extremely complex. The research project MaterialDigital of the state of Baden-Württemberg under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg has now made great progress in structuring materials data into a continuous data space.

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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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  • Tribology: Design Rules for Extremely Low Coefficients of Friction / 2019

    Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

    January 11, 2019

    The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

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