• Six Fraunhofer institutes have made technological leaps forward in systems engineering, materials and process control as well as end-to-end digitalization / 2020

    Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project futureAM Gets Metallic 3D Printing in Shape for Industrial Use

    Press release (Nr. 11) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden / November 09, 2020

    Automatic, component-specific post-processing using a robot with subsequent verification by means of 3D scanning at Fraunhofer IWU in Chemnitz.
    © Fraunhofer

    Accelerating the additive production of metal components by at least a factor of 10: With this goal in mind, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft launched the lighthouse project “futureAM – Next Generation Additive Manufacturing” in 2017. As the project ends in November 2020, six Fraunhofer institutes have made technological leaps forward in systems engineering, materials and process control as well as end-to-end digitalization, thus increasing the performance and cost-effectiveness of metal-based additive manufacturing along the entire process chain.

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  • How optimally joined aluminum and fiber composite plastics contribute to climate protection / 2020

    Light e-waste runabouts for cities

    Press release (Nr. 10) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden / October 26, 2020

    Constructive concept of a container superstructure for a municipal waste collector in alternative mixed construction based on aluminum profiles and composite panels.
    © EBF Dresden/Fraunhofer IWS

    In order to improve city air quality and protect the environment, many municipalities are planning to acquire electric refuse vehicles for their parks and pedestrian passages. However, these are equipped with heavy batteries or fuel cells and can therefore usually transport less waste than classic waste trucks with combustion engines. However, German engineers now intend to change this by using lightweight designs. To this end, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden is developing innovative joining guns.

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  • Innovative coating for bipolar plates in fuel cells / 2020

    Graphite instead of gold: Thin layers for better hydrogen cars

    Press release (Nr. 9) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden / September 29, 2020

    The bipolar plate (above) is coated with a carbon layer (below), reducing contact resistance and simultaneously increasing corrosion resistance.
    © Fraunhofer IWS

    Electric cars which can be filled up within five minutes, reach ranges like a diesel and yet drive "cleanly": This is already being achieved by hydrogen fuel cell vehicles today. However, so far they are still rare and expensive. Apart from efficiency problems, this is due, among other things, to one core component: Gold-coated bipolar plates (BiP) in fuel cells are expensive and complex to manufacture. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden, the German automotive group Daimler and the Finnish steel company Outokumpu Nirosta have now developed an economical alternative for rapid mass production.

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  • Fraunhofer IWS is founding member of the new competence center for autonomous and electric flying / 2020

    Future of flying being developed in Kamenz

    Press release (Nr. 8) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden / September 25, 2020

    © shutterstock

    Commercial drones and air cabs will soon no longer be mere fantasies of the future. In order to bring new ideas for tomorrow's aviation to life, numerous partners together with the city of Kamenz as well as international companies and institutions founded the “Kompetenzzentrum autonomes und elektrisches Fliegen“. The aim is to create the framework conditions for field trials and extensive testing in this region. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS participates as a founding member.

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  • Fraunhofer IWS applies innovative laser melting system for complex copper components for the first time / 2020

    Green laser melts pure copper

    Press release (Nr. 7) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden / August 13, 2020

    The new additive manufacturing system completely melts pure copper powder.
    © Fraunhofer IWS

    Creating sophisticatedly shaped plastic parts with the 3D printer is no longer an art process, but an everyday technology. This is quite different with pure copper: Until now, it has not been possible to completely melt the metal to create complex components layer by layer using infrared lasers. As a result, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden is now using a novel additive manufacturing system, which processes the metal almost defect-free with a short-wave green laser. It enables new production approaches which previously could not be realized with pure copper. Thus, complex components made of pure copper and copper alloys can be realized for aerospace and automotive industry and the efficiency of electric motors and heat exchangers can be increased.

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  • Fraunhofer IWS prints heaters for space flight / 2020

    Hot patterns in cold space

    Press release (No. 6) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden / June 25, 2020

    After insulating with a thin ceramic coating in a thermal spray system, the heating elements are applied with a dispense printing machine, which resemble the shape of a meander. If an electrical current flows through the metallic meander, it will release heat.
    © Fraunhofer IWS

    Building satellites and spaceships is anything but cheap. One reason is the fact that cosmic technology must be designed far more fail-safe than on earth. In space, even minimal problems such as an iced battery can lead to dramatic consequences. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden has therefore now developed special reliable thin ceramic-silver heaters for Airbus. These can be continuously and automatically printed onto tubes and other highly complex-shaped components.

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  • Dresden scientists develop self-cleaning aluminum surface / 2020

    Clean without scrubbing and using chemicals

    Press release (No. 5) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden / May 27, 2020

    Selbstreinigende Oberflaechen
    © Fraunhofer IWS

    Dresden scientists have developed a self-cleaning metallic surface. A project team of the Technische Universität Dresden and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS structured an aluminum plate with a laser process in such a way that water droplets can roll at its surface and thus remove dirt particles – completely without chemical cleaning agents or additional effort. The scientific evidence of the self-cleaning effect has been published in the journal “Applied Surface Science”.

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  • Surfaces functionalized with lasers / 2020

    A fast, ecofriendly way of de-icing aircrafts

    Press release (No. 4) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden / March 02, 2020

    Direct Laser Interference Patterning (DLIP) can create complex, meandering surface structures on the micron and submicron scale to decrease ice accumulation and accelerate de-icing.
    © Fraunhofer IWS

    Ice on an aircraft’s surfaces can be a hazard. It increases drag and fuel consumption, disrupts aerodynamic flows, and decreases lift – which impairs the aircraft’s ability to fly safely. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS, AIRBUS and TU Dresden have developed a laser process that fills two needs with one deed. On one hand, accumulated ice falls off by itself and on the other it takes less heat to de-ice surfaces. Direct Laser Interference Patterning permits surfaces to be structured in ways that effectively repel ice.

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  • Detect cell changes faster

    Press release (No. 3) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden / February 26, 2020

    Microscope image of healthy cartilage cells.
    © Fraunhofer IWS

    Scientists are researching how changes in cell cultures of cartilage and soft tissue can be detected in a cooperative research project of the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau (WHZ), the Fraunhofer Application Center for Surface Technologies and Optical Metrology (AZOM) and the Research Institute of Leather and Plastic Sheets (FILK).

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  • Additively manufactured rocket engine features an aerospike nozzle for microlaunchers

    Press release (No. 2) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden / February 12, 2020

    A design demonstrator for an additively manufactured aerospike nozzle.
    © Fraunhofer IWS

    Microlaunchers are an alternative to conventional launch vehicles. Able to carry payloads of up to 350 kilograms, these midsized transport systems are designed to launch small satellites into space. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden and TU Dresden’s aerospace experts developed an additively manufactured rocket engine with an aerospike nozzle for microlaunchers. The scaled metal prototype is expected to consume 30 percent less fuel than conventional engines. It will feature prominently at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 12 and in the showcase at booth C18 in hall 16 at the Hannover Messe from April 20 through 24, 2020.

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