Material properties are essentially process-induced and the scientific penetration of the influence of process parameters on material properties is an important aspect for the elucidation of process-structure-property relationships. For this superordinate research and development focus at the chair, the "Processes" research group produces hybrid composites and material composites using innovative processes and monitors them online using adapted sensor technology. The comparatively higher material costs of hybrid materials continue to require new, efficient manufacturing processes that make the best possible use of the material potential.
For a further development and combination of different classes of materials, the research group is working on the development of new production routes for the manufacture of hybrid materials, i.e. polymer/metal/ceramic-based composites and material composites. Special attention is paid to the implementation of processes that allow in-situ hybridization - thus eliminating the need for subsequent joining operations. To realize such routes, special attention must be paid to the adapted interface design (realized e.g. by laser structuring): On the one hand, this allows an optimal adhesion between the hybrid partners and, on the other hand, in terms of sustainability, the removal of the hybrid at the end of its life cycle - for example, via "switchable" interfaces - can be achieved.
The processes themselves, on the other hand, should be capable of series production and recycling, which is why duromer and thermoplastic-based injection moulding in particular form the basis for the research activities. At the same time, a combination with generative manufacturing processes in the field of preforming or with metallic inserts is conceivable here, leading to further optimisation of material utilisation. Last but not least, these processes also allow secondary raw materials to be returned to the end product and thus, in some cases, the materials can be recycled. In this context, the research group cooperates closely with other chairs at MRM and also with non-university research institutes.
Another research focus is the generation of interpenetration materials, e.g. by means of gas pressure infiltration. Therefore, the gas pressure infiltration technology has been set up and put into operation at our chair for this purpose (see picture on the right). At up to 800 °C and 80 bar pressure, previously evacuated hollow structures, such as highly porous ceramic foams, can be infiltrated. As a result, the classic division into matrix and reinforcement no longer applies to this material class of interpenetrating composites, since the materials involved penetrate each other completely. At the moment, the focus is still on metal-based systems, but here, too, the plastics processing methods mentioned offer great potential.
Current research projects
Information on our current research projects can be found here.