Bionics with cellular metals

Bionics deals with the transfer of natural phenomena to technology(see also Wikipedia on the subject of bionics). In other words, we want to solve technical problems with the help of nature. The bionics chapter explains relevant examples from nature and technology in more detail. A look back into the history of mankind shows that Leonardo Da Vinci already used this concept - nature served as a model for technical applications (bird flight as a model for flying machines).

The term bionics is a portmanteau of biology and technology and is closely associated with the name Werner Nachtigall. His books still provide the basic knowledge in the field of bionics today. Werner Nachtigall defined the term bionics as follows: "Bionics as a scientific discipline deals systematically with the technical implementation and application of constructions, processes and development principles of biological systems. This also includes aspects of the interaction of animate and inanimate parts and systems as well as the economic and technical application of biological organizational criteria."

Nature offers many examples of adapted cellular structures that can be used today with metal foams for adapted lightweight construction.

Aluminum materials

Alongside steel, aluminum and its alloys are one of the most widely used materials today. This material shows its strengths particularly in the areas of casting technology, thixotropic manufacturing processes and forming technology.

Main areas of research:

- Powder metallurgy of aluminum alloys - Viscosity of partially solidified aluminum melts

Magnesium materials

Magnesium and magnesium alloys still show the greatest potential for weight savings in automotive engineering today. In the field of metallic construction materials, it is the lightest with a density of 1.74 g/cm3.

Although magnesium alloys combine the requirements of low specific weight, good machining and processing and great recycling potential, their application still lags far behind competing aluminum materials. The reasons for this are, on the one hand, the higher price of the primary material (exacerbated by the lack of a secondary cycle), a limited range of customized magnesium materials and, in some cases, a lack of or loss of expertise in machining and processing; on the other hand, there are still knowledge barriers in the materials processing and application industry, which inhibit the substitution of "conventional"︁ materials with magnesium alloys. In order to open up a larger market for magnesium alloys, it is necessary to expand the existing range of alloys, improve existing production techniques and develop new process technologies. This article provides an overview of the established processes for processing aluminum and magnesium alloys and highlights new perspectives.

Steel materials

New DFG research project

Development of nickel-free austenitic and duplex spheroidal graphite cast iron

Cast iron is known to be a metal matrix composite material containing dispersed and embedded graphite particles in the matrix. Due to its relatively low manufacturing cost, excellent thermal conductivity and good tribological properties, it is often used in applications where the component is exposed to wear and heat. The main reason for the good tribological properties is due to the presence of graphite as a solid phase self-lubricant in the matrix. An additional improvement in the tribological properties of cast iron is achieved by creating an austenitic matrix. Austenitic cast irons are a range of materials known as Ni-resist cast irons, which typically have a high nickel content of 18 to 36%. The primary aim of this project is to introduce a new alloying concept for the production of nodular cast iron with both austenitic and duplex (austenitic-ferritic) microstructure without the addition of Ni. The concept to stabilize the austenite in this project is mainly based on its saturation with the maximum possible carbon content by applying a heat treatment with subsequent quenching to room temperature (RT). In addition, sufficient Mn is to be added so that the martensite start temperature (Ms) is pushed further below RT in order to obtain an austenite matrix at RT. Another variant in which the aim is to produce nodular cast iron with a duplex matrix structure. In this variant, the Si content and the process routes will be investigated with regard to the microstructure development and the mechanical behavior of the developed materials.