Strategies and Objectives
The global demand for energy and raw materials is increasing rapidly; however, natural resources are finite. Therefore, today and in the future, it is of particular importance that these resources are used efficiently and eco-friendly. At the Institute of Materials Research we work for these objectives on development and application of novel light-weight materials and functionalised materials.
The areas of application these materials are manifold, ranging from automotive and aeronautic to medical technology. These new material developments enable entirely new system solutions, e.g. for energy saving light-weight construction of car bodies, motors and turbines, for even emission free propulsion systems in transport, or also for functionalised medical implants.
We focus our work on four key development areas:
- Novel light-weight materials based on magnesium and titanium aluminide alloys for transport and energy technologie.
- Novel joining technologies (friction stir and laser beam welding), and scale crossing simulation methods for complex light-weight structures.
- Functionalised materials with emphasis on materials for sustainable energy technologies, storage materials for the future hydrogen technology and bio-compatible metal alloys
- Characterisation of materials with neutrons, synchrotron beams and electron microscopy
The challenges of scale-up of materials development and production and the design of optimised light-weight structures and manufacturing processes are answered with the development of research platforms. These thematically pool the necessary infrastructure and the multi-disciplinary methodological expertise in the form of coordinated units and make these available for strategic projects with internal and external partners:
- "Magnesium Innovation Centre" (MagIC)
- "Light-weight materials assessment, Computing, and Engineering Center” (ACE), under development 2010 - 2014
To shorten the development cycles, we initiate and participate in national and international networks with scientists from universities, non-university research entities and industrial users. A large part of the added value chain is integrated in the interdisciplinary teamwork, from the fundamental questions of alloy development and processing to component and process assessment. Thereby, the translation of the results into technological applications is made more quickly.
The development and characterisation of new functionalised materials is carried out in close cooperation with the Institute of Polymer Research.
The investigations and developments at the Institute of Materials Research are embedded in the Helmholtz Research Programmes "Advanced Engineering Materials" in the Helmholtz Research Field "Key Technologies", and "Large Facilities for Research with Protons, Neutrons, and Ions" in the Helmholtz Research Field "Structure of Matter".