Current Collaborative Projects

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On this page you will find a selection of the current collaborative projects of the Fraunhofer ILT. Detailed information can be found in the project profiles below and on the respective project websites.

Energy#

#“HoLiB” – High throughput processes for the production of lithium ion batteries

To cover the growing demand of lithium ion batteries, an increase in the productivity for cell assembly processes is necessary. The process steps of cutting, packaging and contacting are a bottleneck in the process chain and limit the output of the cell assembly process significantly. The project “HoLiB – High throughput processes for the production of lithium ion batteries” aims to increase the productivity of these process steps by the development of new technologies and the reduction of non-value-adding times within the process chain.

Regarding the cutting, a laser die cutter is developed which is able to cut electrodes within milliseconds while the electrode material is supplied continuously from a coil. A newly developed rotating stacking wheel places the electrode sheets for the packaging process. This technology replaces the pick-and-place process of a robot, as a further increase in productivity is limited for pick-and-place-processes. Laser welding is used for contacting of the electrode stack. Process quality and process speed are optimisation parameters for the welding process.

The project aims to link the different process steps as mentioned above. Therefore, the supply of the rotating stacking wheel by the laser die cutter and the electrode feed is very flexible. This leads to the reduction of buffers and waiting times and connects the process steps efficiently.
The developed technologies are realised in a prototype. An inline quality assurance is implemented in the prototype to evaluate the processes. An electrochemical analysis of fully assembled cells completes the assessment of the process.
The results of the project highly influence the productivity increase the cell assembly process of lithium ion batteries.

Project Information

Title “HoLiB” – High throughput processes for the production of lithium ion batteries
Term 1.10.2019 - 30.9.2022
Supported by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) 
Website https://www.prozell-cluster.de/en/projects/holib/
Contact Person Dr. Alexander Olowinsky

#“KonFutius” – Continuous functionalization of lightweight structural materials in the roll-to-roll process through printed electronics and hybrid integration

The German lighting industry today faces global competition and therefore demands technologies that allow lighting panels to be produced more resource and cost efficiently than before. In the "KonFutius" project, a new panel light is being developed together with six partners, in which fibre composite plastics and electronic components are integrated. Compared with conventional halogen lamps, the light not only consumes less energy, but also has up to 60 percent lower manufacturing costs.

Project Information

Title “KonFutius” – Continuous functionalization of lightweight structural materials in the roll-to-roll process through printed electronics and hybrid integration
Term 1.07.2019 – 31.12.2023
Project Sponsor LeitmarktAgentur.NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person Nam-Phong Nguyen M.Sc. M.Sc.

Environment#

#“LEMON” – Lidar Emitter and Multispecies greenhouse gases Observation Instrument

LEMON will provide a new versatile Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) sensor concept for greenhouse gases and water vapour measurements from space.

During the last climate conference in Paris in December 2015, climate-warning limits have been discussed and agreed upon. In such frame, the need for a European satellite-borne observation capacity to monitor CO2 emissions at global, European and country scales has been identified, as stated by the Copernicus report “Towards European operational observing system monitor fossil CO2 emissions”.

New space missions are now being used (GOSAT, AIRS, IASI, …) or planned (OCO, IASI-NG, MicroCarb, MERLIN, …) for CO2 and/or CH4. Given the technical challenges, they are up to now mainly based on passive (high resolution spectrometers) instruments, Lidar instrument-based mission (MERLIN) is currently in development in Europe to probe methane only.

Therefore, the main goal of LEMON is to develop a versatile instrument, able to target CO2, CH4 and water vapour stable isotopes (H216O and HDO only, from now on referred to as water vapour or H2O and HDO explicitly) with a single laser emitter.

The consortium consists of ONERA (FR), FRAUNHOFER (DE), CNRS (FR), KTH (SE), SPACETECH (DE), UiB (NO), INNOLAS (DE) and L-UP (FR). It has full expertise at Earth Observation technologies (from receiver, data acquisition, instrument control and versatile emitter) and is therefore able to fully explore, understand and validate the aforementioned advantages. The consortium is highly motivated to set-up and perform demonstrations at all instrument levels in order to showcase the project results. This will include the instrument set-up, TRL6 instrument validation, airborne demonstrations and CO2, CH4, H2O isotopes measurements, as well as roadmaps and preliminary experiments towards space operation.

The LEMON total grant request to the EC is 3 374 725€ for the whole consortium and the project will be conducted within 48 months.

Project Information

Title “LEMON” – Lidar Emitter and Multispecies greenhouse gases Observation Instrument
Term 01.01.2019 – 31.12.2022
Supported by This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°821868
Website Project Website “LEMON”
Contact Person Dr. Michael Strotkamp

#“REMULAN” – Resource and energy efficient production of multi-functional non-stick-layers

As part of the REMULAN joint project, Fraunhofer ILT and partners from industry are developing a laser-based coating process for the production of sol-gel-based non-stick-layers and the therefore necessary materials. The process should lead to a sustainable reduction in the use of materials, energy consumption and the associated climate-damaging emissions both in the production and application of machine components provided with non-stick-layers.

Project Information

Title “REMULAN” – Resource and energy efficient production of multi-functional non-stick-layers
Term 01.07.2020 – 30.06.2022
Project Sponsor DLR Projektträger, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, German Aerospace Center
Supported by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) 
Contact Person Jonas Frühling M.Sc.

#“SimConDrill” – Innovative filter modules for the separation of microplastics from wastewater

Microplastics enter our wastewater and the environment every day. Wastewater treatment plants are not able to sufficiently reduce microplastics. For this reason, the SimConDrill partners are focusing on the development of a filter which is ready for serial production and enables the filtration of particles down to 0.01mm (this equals the thickness of kitchen foil) on the basis of the patented cyclone filter. Due to its special technology, this filter is clogging and maintenance-free and not a disposable filter. Once the prototype has been built, it will be tested in a treatment plant using real wastewater.

Project Information

Title “SimConDrill” – Innovative filter modules for the separation of microplastics from wastewater
Term 01.01.2019 – 30.06.2021
Project Sponsor Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA)
Supported by The joint project SimConDrill is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It is part of the BMBF funding programme "KMU-innovativ: Resource efficiency and climate protection" in the technology and application area "Sustainable water management".
Website www.simcondrill.com
Contact Person Andrea Lanfermann M.Sc.

Health#

#“BONE” – Biofabrication of Orthopaedics in a New Era

The aim of the Interreg NWE BONE project, led by Prof. Lorenzo Morono, MERLN Insitute, Maastricht University is to research new methods for the improved treatment of bone fractures and to strengthen the performance of the North-West European economy. The four-year project started in March 2017. Eight partners from industry and research from the Netherlands, Germany, England, Ireland, France and Belgium have joined forces for this purpose.

Project Information

Title “BONE” – Biofabrication of Orthopaedics in a New Era
Term 01.04.2017 – 30.03.2021
Supported by Interreg NWE, European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Website Project Website “BONE”
Contact Person Dr. Nadine Nottrodt

#“CardioPatch” – Vascularized, bioartificial myocardal muscle from induced pluripotent stem cells

The project aims to develop an artificial blood vessel system for the production of biotechnologically generated heart tissue. This is an important step towards fully functional artificial tissues and organs.

Project Information

Title “CardioPatch” – Vascularized, bioartificial myocardal muscle from induced pluripotent stem cells
Term 01.12.2019 - 30.11.2022
Project sponsor LeitmarktAgentur.NRW / Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE), State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Contact Person Dr. Elke Bremus-Köbberling

#“HoPro-3D” - Hohe Produktivität in der additiven Fertigung durch die Kombination von DLP mit MPP

Multiphoton polymerization (MPP) allows components to be produced with great precision – a resolution <1 μm – thanks to photo-crosslinking. Owing the high resolution, however, the build rates are so small that an economical production of components is hardly possible.

When MPP is combined with a printer based on digital light processing (DLP) for large area meshing (DLP), the build rate for a typical microfluidic device can be increased to such an extent that the process provides economical solutions for small lot production.

Project Information

Title “HoPro-3D” - Hohe Produktivität in der additiven Fertigung durch die Kombination von DLP mit MPP
Term 01.11.2018 – 31.10.2021
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE), State of North Rhine-Westphalia 
Contact Person Dr. Martin Wehner

Mobility#

#“MultiPROmobil” - Multifunktionale Robotertechnologie mit universellem Laserwerkzeug für trennende, fügende und additive Fertigungsprozesse im semi-bionischen E-Mobil-Leichtbau

The project MultiPROmobil aims to study an integrated manufacturing and system technology that can produce bionically based lightweight structures efficiently in a single device with several manufacturing processes and without changing the manufacturing equipment. For this purpose, the project is researching and demonstrating a flexible and reconfigurable laser robot technology for integrated cutting, welding and metal deposition with a single processing head. This integrated process chain is intended to significantly strengthen the providers and users of the SME-dominated laser industry in NRW and, in particular, to help emerging e-mobile production in NRW remain agile on the world market.

Project Information

Title “MultiPROmobil” - Multifunktionale Robotertechnologie mit universellem Laserwerkzeug für trennende, fügende und additive Fertigungsprozesse im semi-bionischen E-Mobil-Leichtbau
Term 15.11.2018 – 14.11.2021
PROJECT SPONSOR Leitmarktagentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person Dr. Dirk Petring

Production and Industry 4.0#

#"3KLANK" – 3 μm laser system for bonding and varnishing pretreatment for sustainable conditioning of fiber composite materials

The aim of the DBU project 3KLANK is to provide a robust, efficient and flexible pretreatment process for fiber composite materials that can be used in an industrial environment. In the project, Fraunhofer ILT is working with cleanLASER GmbH to develop a functional model of a frequency-converted, fiber-coupled laser system with an emission wavelength of 3 µm that is suitable for industrial use. This allows for the cleaning of fiber composite material surfaces by a gentle and targeted laser ablation of the resin matrix without damaging the fibers, which are important for the material strength. Due to the adapted wavelength and fiber guidance, the laser system allows for a high degree of automation of the overall process. In addition, the newly developed beam source forms the basis for the development and optimization of new methods for laser pre-treatment of surfaces for varnishing and bonding processes of fiber-reinforced composites, which are being carried out in the project by Fraunhofer IFAM.

Project Information

Title "3KLANK" – 3 μm laser system for bonding and varnishing pretreatment for sustainable conditioning of fiber composite materials
Term 01.01.2021 – 31.12.2022
Supported by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt
Contact Person Dr. Sebastian Nyga

#"AddBo" – Increasing the service life of tools and the process reliability through additively manufactured, functionally adapted threading tools made of high-speed steel

The aim of the research project is to additively manufacture threading tools made of high-speed steel by means of Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF). The additivley manufactured tools lead to increased process reliability and service life in use, especially in SMEs, through customised cooling channel geometries. The economic Additive Manufacturing is systematically investigated by considering and adapting the entire manufacturing process chain of threading tools.

In order to work out the objective, an economic processing of a crack-prone high-speed steel by means of LPBF under the lowest possible geometric restrictions for complex components is investigated. The post-processing of the additive parts by means of hot isostatic pressing (HIP) and heat treatment as well as the resulting mechanical characteristic values are determined in order to define an economic manufacturing process chain for additive components made of high-speed steel. Based on the boundary conditions, the coolant supply of threading tools is optimized in terms of fluid mechanics in order to reduce pressure losses in the tool. In combination with an FEM simulation, the tool design is iteratively revised to ensure the best possible fluid flow with the most stable tool possible.

The overall result of the project is a set of design guidelines for the design and manufacture of tools, enabling SMEs to implement the results of the project directly in their production. The technological advantage for SMEs to produce and use more efficient threading tools in their production and use them in production leads to a long-term expansion of competitive advantages.

Project Information

Title "AddBo" – Increasing the service life of tools and the process reliability through additively manufactured, functionally adapted threading tools made of high-speed steel
Term 01.01.2021 – 31.12.2022
Supported by Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen AiF, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie BMWi
Contact Person Tim Lücke M.Sc.

#"AddToP" – Development of a Technology Processor for Additive Manufacturing Using LPBF

As part of the "AddToP" project, Fraunhofer ILT and partners from industry are developing a technology processor for Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) for the Additive Manufacturing of components made of Ti6Al4V. The technology processor enables the process parameters used to be adapted to the specific component geometry and the requirements of the user. In this way, the Additive Manufacturing process can be adapted to specific requirements of the application and process speed, robustness and component quality can be increased.

Project Information

Title "AddToP" – Development of a Technology Processor for Additive Manufacturing Using LPBF
Term 01.12.2018 – 31.11.2021
Project sponsor Leitmarktagentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person Tobias Pichler M.Sc.

#“AMable” – Support for the uptake of Additive Manufacturing

The AMable project facilitates the uptake of additive manufacturing in companies. The partners – institutes and companies with a wealth of experience in the field of additive manufacturing – provide comprehensive knowledge and support to European SME’s, midcaps and industry. The experts accompany each idea from the start to the first prototype – each challenge receives a business case assessment to identify the potential of the idea, the suitable services to develop it and a roadmap to ramp up production for a successful market entry.

AMable implements the Industrial Dataspace principle for Additive Manufacturing which follows the paradigm of leaving the data with the owner to put each participant in full command of his intellectual property. AMable also creates a Blockchain app that enables a continuous secured documentation of creation and change across the product evolution. Data owners use this app to chain a digital fingerprint of their files for later reference or content integrity validation.

Feasibility of functional requirements is ensured by design recommendations from the experts who use the latest construction and simulation tools. For example, visualization services involve new technologies in virtual and augmented reality. Complete use cases will be stored in the AMable Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) to provide a rich variety of solutions to new projects.

The European Commission supports the AMable project which is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in the context of the I4MS initiative.

Project Information

Title “AMable” - Additively Manufacturable
Term 01.09.2017 – 31.08.2021
Supported by European Union, Horizon 2020, FOF-12-2017 - ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS), No. 768775
Website www.amable.eu
Contact Person Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Ulrich Thombansen M.Sc. B. Eng. (hon) 

#"EFFPROVIA" - Efficiency increase in the LPBF process and expansion of the processable powder materials by means of a vibration-excited powder application tool

The goal of the research project “EFFPROVIA” is to significantly increase the efficiency of the LPBF-process, on the one hand through the reduction of non-productive times by means of a vibration-stimulated and accelerated powder recoating and on the other hand through the processability of more cost-efficient, water-atomized powder materials. Analyses of the mechanical properties of test specimens accompanying the project are intended to ensure the applicability of the process modifications developed in the project. In this way, the results can be transferred to specific application examples from SMEs without having to carry out complex material and system qualification processes.

Project Information

Title "EFFPROVIA" - Efficiency increase in the LPBF process and expansion of the processable powder materials by means of a vibration-excited powder application tool
Term 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2022
Supported by Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen AiF, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie BMWi
Contact Person Christian Weiß M.Sc.

#"ENLAPRO" - Energy-efficient, laser-based production process for tribological coatings on highly stressed components

The aim of the joint project is to develop an energy-efficient laser-based production process for tribological coatings on highly stressed components based on the high-performance polymer polyetheretherketone (PEEK).

The innovative process enables a significant increase in energy efficiency, a sustainable reduction in material loss and the avoidance of the use of chemical cleaning agents and blasting media.

Project Information

Title "ENLAPRO" - Energy-efficient, laser-based production process for tribological coatings on highly stressed components
Term 01.12.2018 - 30.11.2021
Project sponsor LeitmarktAgentur.NRW / Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)
Supported by European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE) and funding by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Contact Person Marius Dahmen M.Sc.

#“FOCUS” – Flexible and robot-based surface structuring using position controlling and USP fiber guidance for 3D free-form geometries

The goal of the FOCUS project is the development of a flexible laser processing based on a commercial 6-axis robot. With the help of a sensor-based position detection and control, accuracies of <10 µm are to be achieved. In addition, the development of a fiber-guided ultrashort pulse laser is expected to open up further areas of application with regard to surface functionalization and highly-increased precision. In contrast to longer pulse durations in the nanosecond range, a significantly improved surface quality is achieved while maintaining the same productivity.

Project Information

Title “FOCUS” – Flexible and robot-based surface structuring using position controlling and USP fiber guidance for 3D free-form geometries
Term 01.07.2019 - 30.06.2022
Project Sponsor LeitmarktAgentur.NRW / Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)
Supported by European Regional Development Fund in the field of investment in growth and employment (EFRE)
Contact Person Andreas Brenner M.Sc.

#“IDEA” – Industrialization of Digital Engineering and Additive Manufacturing (AM)

Generative manufacturing processes have the potential to increase the flexibility of industrial production and to integrate connected customers and business partners more firmly within the production process. Additive laser or electron beam technology can be used to manufacture even very complex structures without major additional outlay. This opens the door to customized mass production. However, the production processes for parts produced using additive methods remain time consuming and expensive since the majority of the individual steps in the process are performed in isolation from one another and involve considerable manual intervention. This means that there is considerable capacity for saving time and manufacturing costs by linking various steps in the additive manufacturing process.

Project Information

Title “IDEA” – Industrialization of Digital Engineering and Additive Manufacturing (AM)
Term 1.5.2019 - 30.4.2022
Supported by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Photonik Forschung Deutschland, "Line integration of additive manufacturing processes (LAF)" funding initiative
WEBSITE Project Website ”IDEA“
Contact Person Jonas Zielinski M.Sc.

#“LaserRoll” – High-resolution laser structuring of printing and embossing cylinders for roll-to-roll production of micro- and nanostructured foils

The system technology to be developed in the research project will enable the efficient production of printing and embossing rolls with a structure resolution of less than 1 µm. With the help of such laser-structured rolls, the basis for the mass production of printed electronics in roll-to-roll processes is to be created. An ultrashort pulsed UV laser beam source is used to achieve the highest possible precision and structure resolution, while efficiency is to be increased by means of a multi-beam setup.

However, a strong focusing of the laser beam results in a very low depth of field in the micrometer range. This is problematic in so far as the concentricity of a cylinder during the structuring process cannot be adjusted with unlimited precision and extremely high demands are made on accuracy. Innovative solutions for increasing the depth of field or for controlling the focus position must therefore be evaluated within the scope of the project.

Project Information

Title “LaserRoll” – High-resolution laser structuring of printing and embossing cylinders for roll-to-roll production of micro- and nanostructured foils
Term 25.09.2019 – 24.09.2022
SUPPORTED BY European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Project sponsor LeitmarktAgentur.NRW / Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)
Contact Person Martin Osbild M.Sc.

#“LASHARE” – Laser equipment ASsessment for High impAct innovation in the manufactuRing European industry

LASHARE is the acronym of a European project involving more than 30 SMEs from across Europe, partners from industry and six of the most renowned laser research institutes.

Main objective is to share knowledge on laser-based equipment and its use addressing the whole value chain end to end. As a key success factor for European manufacturing the transfer of innovative solutions from the laboratory into industrially robust products and the dissemination of its use stands at the heart of the project.

 

Project Information

Title “LASHARE” – Laser equipment ASsessment for High impAct innovation in the manufactuRing European industry
Term Start 25.09.2013
Supported by European Union
7th Framework Program: 609046
Website http://www.lashare.eu/
Contact Person Dipl.-Ing.(FH) Ulrich Thombansen M.Sc. B.Eng.(hon) 

#“PhotonHub Europe” – Photonics Digital Innovation Hub

PhotonHub Europe is a European initiative for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). More than 50 research centers from the field of photonics support the use of photonic technologies in SMEs with their offerings. Along different application areas, these technologies are divided into eight platforms. They range from a focus on components such as optical fibers to semiconductor circuits with integrated photonic functions (Photonics Integrated Circuit / PIC) and laser-based application processes. The aim of PhotonHub Europe is to transfer complex technologies to companies so that they can employ this knowledge to strengthen their innovative power and improve their products. 

Project Information

Title Photonics Digital Innovation Hub - “PhotonHub Europe”
Start of the project 2021
Supported by European Union, Horizon 2020
Website Project Website “PhotonHub Europe”
Contact Person Dipl.-Ing.(FH) Ulrich Thombansen M.Sc. B.Eng.(hon) 

#“SchnelLPBF” – Qualification of new high-speed steels for Additive Manufacturing using LPBF

Conventional processing of tool steels by means of the Additive Manufacturing process Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) tends to lead to cracking due to internal stresses (analogy to welding). This is specifically due to high-alloy, carbide-containing, abrasion-resistant tool steels. By adjusting process parameters such as the preheating temperature or the scanning strategy, cracking can still be avoided in small, simple components. However, with component size and complexity, the level of internal stresses increases, which means that technically relevant tools made of tool steels cannot currently be produced using LPBF. A subsequent hot isostatic pressing (HIP) reduces pores and internal microcracks, but not macroscopic cracks.

In this project, together with partners from industry, two modified high-speed steels are to be proven that they can be processed into crack-free components using LPBF. The aim is to develop an adapted LPBF process for complex structures and the post-processing process chain "hot isostatic pressing (HIP) - machining – quenching and tempering", as well as to demonstrate high resistance to fatigue, rolling and abrasive wear. Design guidelines for the production of complex components using LPBF and HIP quenching and tempering, as well as the specification of mechanical properties in data sheets, are intended to enable SMEs to integrate LPBF processing of high-speed steels in their own business areas with minimal business risks.

Project Information

Title “SchnelLPBF” – Qualification of new high-speed steels for Additive Manufacturing using LPBF
Term 01.11.2020 – 30.04.2023
Supported by Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen AiF, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie BMWi
Contact Person Dipl.-Ing. Rui Joao Santos Batista

#“TaCoMA” – Increased tool service life and process reliability through additively manufactured milling tool carriers with tangential plate design and flow-optimized cooling channels

In the "TaCoMA" research project, the basic principles for the production of additively manufactured milling tool heads are being systematically investigated. The overall project goals are the manufacturing of improved milling tools from a customised bainitic steel using the Additive Manufacturing process Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) as well as the derivation of design guidelines for implementation in industry. Recent research has shown that the targeted supply of cooling lubricant can increase the productivity of end milling tools by 50 percent. However, the production of the complex cooling channels required for this is time-consuming and cost-intensive.

In addition to qualifying a new material, the central innovation of the project is to make use of the increased degrees of freedom of Additive Manufacturing for the production of high-performance milling tools. The performance of the tools will be validated in machining technology tests.

Generally applicable design guidelines for manufacturing and post-processing are being developed for the design of additively manufactured cutting tools. In addition, the focus is on the qualification of a bainitic material for the Additive Manufacturing of basic tool bodies, which can be transferred to the qualification of other steels using the methods developed in the project.

Project Information

Title “TaCoMA” – Increased tool service life and process reliability through additively manufactured milling tool carriers with tangential plate design and flow-optimized cooling channels
Term 01.03.2020 – 28.02.2022
Supported by Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen AiF, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie BMWi
Contact Person Jasmin Saewe M.Sc

Materials#

#"AddSteel" – Development of new functionally adapted steel materials for Additive Manufacturing

The German steel industry and the German mechanical and plant engineering sector are of particular importance for securing an efficient and innovative industrial landscape in North Rhine-Westphalia. To ensure this performance, it is essential to develop new steel materials from which innovative components with adapted properties (e.g. weight reduction) can be manufactured. In this context, Additive Manufacturing with Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) offers outstanding potential for manufacturing industrial and functionally improved products directly from digital data, thus changing the supply network in the long term. However, according to the current state of the art, no steel materials are qualified for the LPBF process that are required in mechanical and plant engineering, or the processing of these steel materials (case-hardened and heat-treated steels) using LPBF leads to the formation of cracks and defects, making industrial use impossible.

Extensive studies on the adaptation of LPBF process control and system technology do not go far enough to process these steel materials, whose alloy compositions are designed for conventional production routes (primary forming, machining), by means of LPBF. For this reason, the aim of the research project is to make new steel materials processable for use in mechanical and plant engineering through iterative alloy development or adaptation in combination with systematic adaptation of the LPBF process control and plant technology. Based on the developed steel materials, LPBF process control and plant technology, demonstrators will be produced which represent two manufacturing scenarios in machine and plant construction (new and spare components). Subsequently, the components will be tested with regard to their performance and an economic feasibility analysis will be carried out.

Project Information

Title "AddSteel" – Development of new functionally adapted steel materials for Additive Manufacturing
Term 01.01.2019 – 31.12.2021
Project sponsor Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)
Supported by European Regional Development Fund in the field of investment in growth and employment (EFRE)
Contact Person Lukas Masseling M.Sc. 

#"AlPhaMat" – Light-sensitive phase transition materials for the additive production of polymer products

The aim of the project is the avoidance of waste, manual efforts and costs caused by support structures in lithographic 3D printing processes. Materials are under development which have an UV-curing property and an additional thermal phase transition. These materials are supposed to be processed without support structures in combination with Fraunhofer ILT's TwoCure® technology.

Project Information

Title "AlPhaMat" – Light-sensitive phase transition materials for the additive production of polymer products
Term 01.05.2019 – 30.04.2022
Project sponsor Leitmarktagentur NRW – NeueWerkstoffe.NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person Dr. Holger Leonards

#“Form-LIGHT” – Development of a mechanical interlocking plastic/light-metal hybrid composite with a Class A surface

In lighting applications as in many other segments, the trend towards lightweight construction and increased functionality is making it increasingly necessary to combine disparate materials with one another in a single product. By combining the good thermal conductivity of die-cast components with the high surface quality of injection-moulded parts, it is possible to satisfy the stringent demands of LED technology. 

The aim of this cooperation project is to develop a hybrid, amorphous thermoplastic/light-metal composite. The joining technology used for this is a quasi-full-area microscale laser structuring on the light-metal component. Through the back-moulding of the structured surface, the composite is produced during the moulding of the plastic. This high-strength material composite is resistant to changing temperatures and can also be optimised with regard to its media-proof characteristics. It can be used to produce functional, load-bearing components with decorative covering components in a single part, whereby build volume and weight as well as logistics and assembly costs can be significantly reduced through shorter process chains.

Project Information

Title “Form-LIGHT” – Development of a mechanical interlocking plastic/light-metal hybrid composite with a Class A surface
Term 1.06.2019 – 31.05.2022
Project Sponsor LeitmarktAgentur.NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Website https://www.ikv-aachen.de/en/research/formlight/
Contact Person Kira van der Straeten M.Sc.

#“HyTraM” - Entwicklung eines hochfesten und temperaturwechselbeständigen Hybridwerkstoffverbunds aus transparenten Materialien für innovative Funktions- und Designbauteile

A novel laser-based connection technology will be developed in which the surface of glass components can be modified by micro- and nanoscale laser structuring. Thanks to this technology, high-strength and temperature change resistant plastic-glass composites can be produced with thermoplastics and subsequent laser transmission welding or injection molding. The new joining and assembly technology significantly shortens process chains, eliminates additional materials and process steps and expands the design options for functional components.

Project Information

Title “HyTraM” - Entwicklung eines hochfesten und temperaturwechselbeständigen Hybridwerkstoffverbunds aus transparenten Materialien für innovative Funktions- und Designbauteile
Term 01.11.2018 – 31.10.2021
PROJECT SPONSOR Leitmarktagentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person Nam-Phong Nguyen M.Sc. M.Sc.

#“LaMeta” - Laserbasierte Metallisierung zum Fügen von hybriden Werkstoffkombinationen

High-performance components are increasingly being produced through a combination of various multi- and hybrid materials. For such combinations to succeed, a suitable joining technology is needed since there are few technologies to produce a reliable joint with these new, innovative materials, especially dissimilar ones. Such materials include ceramics (e.g., SiC) as well as metals and lightweight metals (e.g., Al, Cu, Ti). With special active solders and at temperatures above 850 °C, materials with difficult-to-wet surfaces can be provided with a metallic layer in a vacuum or inert gas. However, when complete components are heated, internal tension and, thus, cracks can often occur. For this reason, LaMeta aims to develop solders of suspensions with microparticles that have a metallization temperature up to 50% lower than previous ones, and to apply them to components locally where metallization is needed. Subsequently, the suspension is selectively heated with laser radiation so that a cohesive connection with the base material is formed as a thin metallization layer. In further steps, conventional joining can be carried out at low stress.

Project Information

Title “LaMeta” - Laserbasierte Metallisierung zum Fügen von hybriden Werkstoffkombinationen
Term 01.12.2018 – 30.11.2021
PROJECT SPONSOR Projektträger Jülich / Leitmarktagentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person Silja Katharina Rittinghaus M.Sc.

#“NADEA” – Duplex high entropy alloys produced by additive manufacturing

In the collaborative project NADEA, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF, project partners from research and industry have developed NADEAAM, a cobalt free high-entropy alloy designed for Laser Material Deposition (LMD). Its Widmanstätten microstructure makes it a veritable duplex material particularly suited for operation in corrosive environments where high strength and wear resistance are required.

The microstructure consists of austenite (fcc) and ferrite (bcc), however, unlike in duplex steels, the major part of the bcc phase is ordered (bcc-B2). The ratio fcc:bcc can be tailored by heat treatment to range from 55:45 to 65:35.

The crack-free processing of NADEAAM into a near-net-shape component with a density > 99.5 % was achieved at Fraunhofer ILT. Investigations of the project partner Access e.V. show that after solution heat treatment and aging a super-fine fcc-bcc duplex microstructure with a yield strength Rp0.2 of 600 MPa is obtained. The tensile strength Rm is 1100 MPa at a total elongation of 27 %. A comparable duplex steel reaches Rm ≈ 900 MPa in the tensile test with Rp0.2 ≈ 640 MPa and A ≈ 20 %.

Links:

Project Information

Title “NADEA” – Duplex high entropy alloys produced by additive manufacturing
Term 01.08.2018 – 31.07.2021
Supported by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), grant No 03XP0163
Contact Person Dr. Silja Rittinghaus
Project partners Access e. V., Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, AGH University of Science and Technology, KU Leuven, Otto Junker GmbH, Oerlikon AM GmbH, Fraunhofer ILT

Further Topics#

#“E-TEST” – Einstein Telescope EMR Site & Technology

The E-TEST project is developing key technologies for a third-generation gravitational wave detector, also known as Einstein Telescope. Gravitational wave detectors provide an alternative view into interstellar processes, such as the collision of stars and supernovae, which can be detected by specific signatures in the form of gravitational waves, and thus represents an important addition to other established observation methods, such as optical or radio telescopes in the exploration of the universe. The investigations in the project cover a wide range, from geological investigations to high-precision optical components and the investigation of operation at cryogenic temperatures.

To achieve all this, a consortium of partners from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany has been formed. The project is led and coordinated by the University of Liège. The task of Fraunhofer ILT within this project is the development of a highly stable laser with an output wavelength around 2 µm and an extremely narrow linewidth below 10 kHz, which will be used within an interferometer for the detection of small, gravitational-wave induced changes in length.

Project partners: 

Hasselt University, KU Leuven University, Maastricht University, Nikhef – National Institute for Subatomic Physics, NMWP Management GmbH, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), RWTH Aachen University, Université catholique de Louvain, University of Liège (Lead Partner).

Project Information

Title “E-TEST” – Einstein Telescope EMR Site & Technology
Term 1.2.2020 – 31.7.2023
Supported by Interreg EMR, European Regional Development Fund (EFRE); Ministry for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Website https://www.etest-emr.eu/
Contact Person Patrick Baer M.Sc.