Shaping processes for function integration
Fraunhofer IFAM has expertise in a wide range of shaping processes that enable function integration. For example, processes for shapeless materials such as powder and melt have the decisive advantage that an integration of additional functions into the final product can be simultaneously considered and implemented in each individual manufacturing step along the process chain. The use of additive manufacturing technologies, in which components are created without tools from powdered materials in almost any and very complex shapes directly from CAD files, enables the production of both prototypes and highly customized products. Functional printing can also be used to subsequently functionalize components.
In casting technology, too, the development of function-integrated castings is at the forefront of the work. During casting production, for example, metallic or polymer structures are integrated directly into the casting as a composite structure, or fibers such as carbon, ceramic or glass fibers are embedded in the metal, which selectively change properties such as tensile strength or stiffness. Cast-in sensor structures or RFID transponders enable load measurements directly in the component or the clear marking and tracing of cast components and offer particularly intelligent plagiarism protection.
Up-to-date manufacturing and materials science know-how and many years of experience form the basis for the work of the Shaping and Functionalization core competence at Fraunhofer IFAM. In the following, we present some of the shaping processes available at the institute.