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Fraunhofer-Institut Werkstoffmechanik

The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM develops solutions to increase the safety, availability, and lifespan of components and systems ranging from microelectronic devices to power plant components. The Institute develops concepts to make optimum use of new materials as well as cost-effective and environmentally compatible shaping and precision-machining processes.

The main research and development topics include the deformation and failure behaviour of materials and components, the way their strength properties depend on temperature and other ambient conditions, and concepts for assessing defects. Static and highly dynamic impact loads are the most important parameters here. Further topics are machining and surface modifications processes, and developing material models to describe more adequately the processes of production and damage.

The Institute´s objectives are to assure the safety and economy of plant operation, improve the usage properties of materials, composites, and coatings under conditions of wear, thermal loading and corrosion, and extend the useful life of tools and parts. To this end IWM uses and develops modern methods of material characterization, microstructural analysis, numerical simulation, and stress analysis, as well as innovative methods for testing materials, manufacturing, and surface finishing.

The Institute´s customers are companies who produce and apply metals, glasses, ceramics, and plastics, companies for plant and machinery construction, plant operators, trade associations, surveillance agencies and the public sector. The IWM currently has 100 full-time employees in Freiburg and Halle.


Fraunhofer-Institut Werkstoffmechanik

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