Our range of services
The portfolio of suitable materials is still very limited for relatively new processes such as laser-based additive manufacturing and high-speed laser material deposition. To counter this drawback, Fraunhofer ILT is developing novel and modifying existing metallic materials, thus tailoring them specifically to these processes. In particular, the institute is utilizing the high cooling rate of the processes during solidification and cooling, which can be used to produce extremely fine structures in the nanometer range and extreme states of imbalance (down to a metallic glass). These structure and states, in turn, exhibit mechanical, chemical and tribological properties beyond those of conventionally manufactured materials. Furthermore, in additive manufacturing, the cyclical reheating of previously deposited layers can be used to initiate thermally induced processes such as precipitation formation. This so-called intrinsic heat treatment can save time and costly additional processing steps.
For such tailor-made material development to succeed, it is crucial that chemical composition and solidification and cooling conditions are optimally matched. Examples of materials ILT has developed are ultrafine eutectic alloys based on Al and Fe or the reinforcement of steels with finely distributed nanoparticles (ODS steels). These materials combine high strength with sufficient ductility. The intrinsic heat treatment has also been successfully demonstrated on maraging steels.
The Fraunhofer ILT's services range from consulting in the selection of suitable materials to the development and modification of materials for customer-specific tasks and the production of test specimens and sample components.