Research collaborations

Advanced Materials Engineering (AME)

In July 2008, "Advanced Materials Engineering" was established at University of Kaiserslautern as a major research focus by the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Education, Science, Youth, and Culture. In addition to FBK, other institutes in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science and two affiliated "An-Institutes" at the University of Kaiserslautern are contributing to the major research activity.

The group of high and super high tensile steels, lightweight metal alloys, and hybrid materials like fiber-polymer composites or metal matrix composites are among the important materials in the area of lightweight construction. These material groups are key to the future of lightweight construction solutions, for example, in transportation engineering. A major prerequisite for the successful employment of these materials is a highly interconnected network of experiments, models, and simulations in the development of innovative products and the associated production processes. The aim of AME is the development of a combination of experiments, models, and simulations to enable the reliable and efficient operation of plants and systems as well as to facilitate innovative functional properties. During the funding term for the major research focus AME, an "Augmented Materials Laboratory (AML)" must be established where the experimental and model-based work of the working groups and research facilities can be combined and the experimental results validated. The planned activities provide an important contribution to innovative product development in the high-tech industries like the automobile, aircraft, and biomedical branches.


Machining Working Group (AME)

The Machining Working Group was founded in 2019 with the aim of pooling the further development of machining manufacturing in research and teaching through regular scientific exchange, as well as developing collaborative initiatives among its members. Machining is the most widespread manufacturing technology in the metalworking industry. Machining technologies are used to process a wide variety of materials as well as produce diverse component geometries. The spectrum of products machined by cutting processes ranges from large parts such as turbines and motors for the generation of electrical energy, through tools and molds, to optical components and microcomponents for medical technology. The interlinked development of materials, tools, processes, and machine tools in conjunction with the increasing integration of measuring and sensor technology as well as information technology has led to a constant expansion of the range of applications of cutting technologies.

The Machining Working Group has set itself the goal of further advancing the performance of metal-cutting manufacturing through research by specifically intensifying scientific exchange in this field and developing joint initiatives to promote important research topics. The main focus is on the promotion of research on metal cutting manufacturing and interdisciplinary focus areas with an emphasis on bringing together scientific fundamentals and production engineering applications. In this way, the preconditions for the use of increasingly productive processes in industry are created in a coordinated and targeted manner.

The teaching of the institutes and professorships participating in the consortium forms an essential basis for the transfer of knowledge and methods for the further development of the field to the next generation of specialists. The coordination of teaching content supports both the reliable teaching of basic specialist knowledge and the training in scientific focal points at the various locations. The members of the Machining Working Group promote exchange and cooperation with industry and other sectors of the economy and the public sector by participating in transfer and joint projects as well as by offering professional training and public information events.The Machining Working Group supports international cooperation with foreign institutions, associations, and the like in the training and support of students in research and technology transfer.


Application Center for Additive Manufacturing (AAF)

The Application Center for Additive Manufacturing (AAF) was founded in 2020 as part of the Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Production Systems (FBK) at the TU Kaiserslautern. The funding for the AAF is provided by the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The core of the application center is a novel high speed laser metal deposition machine that enables additive manufacturing at significantly increased buildup rates. In addition to its research tasks, the AAF is available to interested companies as a contact partner for all additive manufacturing topics.


Laboratory for Ultra-Precision and Micro Engineering (LPME)

The Laboratory for Ultra-Precision and Micro Engineering (LPME) is a new research building at TU Kaiserslautern that will be ready for occupancy in 2023. In the research building, scientists from mechanical engineering, process engineering, physics, and computer science work on the fundamental understanding of the complex scale effects and interactions by which manufacturing and characterization are defined at the level of ultra-precision and microtechnologies.

Ultraprecision and microtechnologies are among the key technologies of the 21st century. Whether in medical technology, optics, or consumer goods of everyday life, ultra-precision and micro-technologies are increasingly used. Thanks to them, it is possible to produce surfaces of components in the micro range, examine them, and equip them with new properties. Ultra-precision and micro-technologies are strongly characterized by economies of scale. The physical effects that are involved during manufacturing and characterization differ significantly from the macroscale. For example, the behavior of typical materials is inhomogeneous and anisotropic on the microscale, electrical and electrostatic effects (e.g. van der Waals forces) are significant for the manufacturing result, and metrological dimensions have to be measured where physical effects (e.g. diffraction) have to be considered that are not relevant on the macroscale. These scale effects must also be taken into account in modeling, simulation, and visualization of the results and require new scientific approaches here as well.

The overall goal and expected research outcome is a fundamental understanding of the complex scale effects and interactions by which manufacturing and characterization are defined at the micro-scale. This understanding will allow manufacturing processes to be mastered, component quality to be predicted with a high degree of confidence, and, as a consequence, entirely new applications for ultra-precision and micro-technology to be developed.

The planned research will be carried out in four interdisciplinary research areas, which are interlinked and bring together expertise from mechanical engineering, process engineering, physics, and computer science in a common research program.

1. MANUFACTURING

Investigation of separating and additive processes for microstructuring of surfaces, coating of microstructures, and ultra-precise manufacturing of components from different material classes.

2. CHARACTERIZATION

Investigation of functionally important properties of the fabricated components, in particular the component edge layer. 

3. MODELING AND SIMULATION

Development of novel simulation techniques that take into account the specifics of ultra-precision and micromachining.

4. APPLICATION

Realization of scientific and prototypical industrial applications in medical technology, optics, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), mechanical engineering, and automotive engineering.


Sonderforschungsbereich / Transregio (TRR) 375

Ziel des TRR 375 ist es eine neue Klasse an Bauteilen zu etablieren: multifunktionale Hochleistungskomponenten. Diese bestehen aus hybriden porösen (kurz: HyPo) Materialien, die durch eine Kombination unterschiedlicher metallischer Werkstoffe und die gezielte Einbringung von Poren charakterisiert sind.

 

Komponenten aus HyPo-Werkstoffen weisen eine lokal variierende Dichte, etwa in Form einer gradierten Porosität, und lokal speziell auf den Anwendungsfall abgestimmte mechanische und thermische Eigenschaften auf. Zusätzlich sollen sie ergänzende Funktionen erfüllen, unter anderem durch in die Komponenten integrierte Sensoren. Die Sensoren können z. B. zur permanenten Selbstüberwachung genutzt werden, wodurch eine komplette Belastungshistorie der Komponente bis hin zu ihrem drohenden Ausfall aufgezeichnet, ihre Lebensdauer bestimmt und somit vollständig ausgenutzt werden kann.

 

Im Fokus des Sonderforschungsbereichs steht die Methodenentwicklung zur Berechnung, Auslegung, Konstruktion, Fertigung und Charakterisierung von Komponenten aus HyPo-Werkstoffen. Um die zugrundeliegenden Fragestellungen zu beantworten, verfolgt der Sonderforschungsbereich einen interdisziplinären Ansatz. Im TRR 375 arbeiten Forschende aus den Disziplinen Fertigungstechnik, Werkstofftechnik, Messtechnik, Mechanik, Konstruktion und Informatik gemeinsam an dem Verständnis zur Werkstoffauslegung, Entwicklung und Fertigung von multifunktionalen Hochleistungskomponenten. Damit wird eine wissenschaftliche Fragestellung adressiert, die einen bedeutenden Beitrag zur Ressourceneffizienz und zur ökologischen Nachhaltigkeit von Produkten und Produktionsprozessen leisten kann. Darüber hinaus können HyPo-Werkstoffe durch bauteilintegrierte Sensorik auch eine bessere Produktsicherheit ermöglichen und zur produktintegrierten Datenerfassung im Kontext der Digitalisierung beitragen.