The Institute of Materials Research
In the Institute of Materials Research at the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht in Geesthacht more than 160 employees work in the 4 research divisions, " Materials Mechanics", "Materials Physics", "Materials Technology " and "Magnesium Innovation Center Magic".
Embedded in the Helmholtz Research Fields "Key Technologies" and "Structure of Matter" the Geesthacht scientists at the Institute of Materials Research develop ultra-light-weight materials and innovative process technologies for the application areas air and ground transportation, implantology and regenerative medicine, as well as energy storage and conversion.
Air and ground transport
Currently about 50% of the staff of the Institute are working in this application area. The activities include the development of novel Mg-and Ti-alloys, which meet the high demands of ultra-light-weight construction, the development of processing technologies, in particular casting and joining processes for the cost effective and resource-saving production of light-weight semi components, and the provision of experimental and computer-aided optimization and evaluation procedures for ensuring the integrity of materials and structures.
Implantology and regenerative medicine
With a view on the aging society, novel routes to manufacture medical devices such as vertebrae screws are followed with the development of biodegradable magnesium alloys and metal powder injection molding processes. With the help of such implants mobility and quality of life may be maintained into old age.
Energy storage and conversion
For the future hydrogen economy, polymer-based membranes for hydrogen production, separation, treatment and for advanced fuel cells are investigated. For hydrogen storage light metal hydrides with particularly high storage capacity for mobile and stationary applications are developed. As the most recent topic, novel nanostructured metals have been included which are explored with respect to their ability to store and make available electric energy in a short time or to realize actuators and sensory functions.
Characterization with photons and neutrons
Whether novel materials hold, what they promise, is being investigated increasingly in an interdisciplinary way. Thus, at the German Engineering Materials Science Centre (GEMS) at various neutron and X-ray radiation scattering instruments, nano-and microstructures in engineering and bio materials are analysed. The instruments, that use neutrons, are located at the HZG outstation at the FRM II in Garching near Munich. Complementary studies using very intense X-rays, the so-called "synchrotron radiation", are conducted at the High Energy Materials Research beamline HARWI II at the DORIS II ring, and at the High Energy Materials Science (HEMS), the Imaging (IBL) and the BIOSAXS Beamline at the PETRA III ring at the HZG outstation at DESY in Hamburg.
News from the Institute of Materials Research
X-ray experiment reveals kinship of 150 million-year-old dinosaur eggs
Press release -
A team of international research scientists have carried out some very detailed synchrotron radiation examinations on fossils, using two beamlines of the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) in Hamburg. The results regarding the evolution of dinosaur eggs were recently published in Nature Scientific Reports.
Targeted dissolution: the new generation of implants
Press release -
Is a paradigm shift imminent in the field of implant materials? Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht are engaged in research on biodegradable magnesium biomaterials which can be used as bone replacements in medical applications. They will present their research results from the 1st to 3rd November at the annual congress of the DGBM (German society for Biomaterials) in Hamburg.
Virtual Institute Becomes Real: Partners Attend First Meeting on Magnesium-Based Implants
On 10 October 2012, about thirty participants in the Helmholtz Virtual Institute’s “In vivo studies of biodegradable magnesium-based implant materials” came to Geesthacht to attend their first meeting. The aim of the research association – known as MetBioMat – is to develop biocompatible implants out of the metal magnesium that will dissolve inside the body as required.