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Research at IAM-WK

Production and Component Behaviour

Head of the group: Dr.-Ing. Stefan Dietrich

In the framework of the research of the section "Production and Component Behaviour" the interactions between production processes, component state and component behaviour at mechanical loading are investigated. The production processes considered are available either in the laboratories of production techniques of IAM-WK or within cooperations with institutes of production sciences.

Hybrid and Lightweight Materials

Head of the group: Dr.-Ing. Wilfried Liebig

Hybrid materials, i.e. composites or compounds, made or joint from several materials play a very important role in industrial application. The aim of hybrid lightweight construction is the mass reduction of lightweight structures and simultaneously the increase of performance of the construction, which is reflected in higher strength, stiffness or improved fatigue strength. In addition to steels with a comparably high stiffness and density both light metals like aluminium and magnesium as well as polymers feature a high potential for lightweight construction due to their low density. One major advantage of the last-mentioned material class is furthermore the excellent processability. A disadvantage of all lightmetals and polymers is the low stiffness which may be increased by reinforcements like ceramic or metallic fibres or particles increasing both absolute and specific stiffness.
The combination of different materials in compounds or composites results in the evolution of an interface which is essential for the composite's performance as it provides the internal load transfer between the composite's components.


Head of the group: Dr.-Ing. Karl-Heinz Lang

The fatigue group deals with testing, assessment and optimisation of materials under cyclic loading. For this purpose, fatigue tests under push-pull, bending, torsion and superimposed loading are conducted at room and elevated temperature. Further, we perform thermo-mechanical fatigue tests, where temperature and mechanical load are cycled simultaneously to simulate the conditions in hot going components (e. g. cylinder heads or turbine blades). Depending on the loading conditions the lifetime of the tested specimens extends from a few hundred to 109 cycles. The objective is to better understand the damage mechanisms acting under the particular loading conditions and based on this to develop models for lifetime prediction and to optimise the material state for the respective load.

Structure and Stress Analysis

Head of the group: Dr.-Ing. Jens Gibmeier

The Structure and Stress Analysis group focuses on the physical metallurgy of metal/ceramic composites and of two-phase alloys, the analysis of residual stresses in structural components, especially in mechanically treated edge zones, the development and application of advanced nondestructive techniques for materials characterization using X-rays or ultrasonic waves.

Physical Metallurgy

Head of the group: Dr.-Ing. Alexander Kauffmann

pmkThe growing energy demand worldwide, paired with the insistence for conservation of fossil resources and reduction of greenhouse gas, requires, amongst others, a gain of performance and efficiency of combustion engines.
Reducing the density and/or increasing the possible operating temperature of the materials used would lead to significantly reduced fuel consumption, but calls for appropriate oxidation and creep resistance the materials in service. Our group deals with the development and synthesis of novel metallic materials based on thermodynamic calculations followed by the use of casting and powder metallurgical methods, while focusing mainly on mechanical alloying and directional solidification. The subsequent characterization of the materials reaches from determining oxidation properties to mechanical and thermophysical properties at application temperatures up to 1400 °C. The development process is guided by a thorough physical metallurgy analysis of the process-microstructure-properties-correlation. Materials in focus are (a) refractory metal silicides which possess melting temperatures significantly exceeding those of Nickelbase Superalloys and (b) aluminides as a lightweight alternative; the research of which is done mainly on development plant scale. Usually, multi-component, multiphase in-situ composites are tackled, showing superior properties due to high-strength intermetallic reinforcement phases embedded in a matrix of ductile solid solution.

Materials and Processes

Head of the group: Prof. Dr. Thomas Hanemann

Defects in Materials

Head of the group: Dr. rer. nat. Stefan Wagner


A survey of our publications can be found here.

Joint Research Projects

We are involved in a variety of joint research projects which can be found here.