Material and Tribology
The optimal use of existing materials and the full exploitation of their potential is essential for the development of sustainable and resource-saving products. At the same time, friction and wear are major challenges for sustainable products; around 20% of the world's energy requirements are currently "lost" in friction.
The overall objective of this research team is to describe the mechanical properties and tribological behaviour of materials across scales and to use them specifically in applications in order to make optimum use of lightweight construction and recycling potentials and to minimize friction and wear.
Experimental, simulative, and data-driven methods are combined to achieve these overall goals.
Lightweight potential and sustainability
The effective behaviour of additively manufactured components is investigated using the representative volume element method to effectively describe the characteristics of additive manufacturing as well as the consideration of lattice structures and make them available as digital materials.
In process-oriented structural optimization, limits of manufacturing processes are integrated as restrictions and taken into account during topology optimization. More complex process knowledge can be integrated into the optimization process on the basis of data-driven meta-models – such as artificial neural networks.
Thin films and tribological behavior
Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is used to deposit tribologically effective coatings on test specimens for model tests and on components for component tests. The focus is on amorphous carbon coatings and solid lubricant coatings. The aim of the coatings is to reduce friction and wear and thus increase the service life of the components.
A detailed cross-scale coating characterization (microstructure, mechanical properties and tribological behavior) is used to gain knowledge of the elementary mechanisms that lead to friction and wear processes. The transferability of the results of tribological model investigations in sliding and rolling contact to the component coating and the tribological behavior in component tests represents the challenge in this research area.