The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Applied Materials Research IFAM, Near-Net-Shape Production Technologies Department, has premises in Bremen and Dresden. There it works on problems in powder metallurgy and casting of metallic parts and components with a minimum of post-machining.
The Institute carries out feasibility studies and prototype and pilot production of components, in order to give its customers a reliable estimate of the costs of later production. For this purpose, the technical centres and applications centres for injection moulding and rapid prototyping possess equipment for the complete production chain from metal powder through to prototype components or pilot production.
Computer simulations help to determine the process parameters for components production. The department also cooperates with companies in developing products in the field of powder metallurgy, for example metal foams or fillers for electrically conducting polymers; these can be developed as far as the demonstrator stage.
The department for near-net-shape production technologies cooperates with the department for bonding technology and polymers in joint projects. The specialist knowledge and technical equipment of the entire Institute are then available for solving problems covering both fields. There is a laboratory, accredited to EN 45001, for determining grain sizes and for thermal analysis. The Resource Center in Delaware allows both Fraunhofer IFAM departments to recognise and use appropriate technological developments in the USA.
The department has over 250 employees, with offices, labs, and technical installations covering more than 6 900 m².
Fraunhofer-Institut Fertigungstechnik Materialforschung
Further information: http://www.ifam.fhg.de/