First, a simulation program calculates the bone’s internal structure and porosity, then a rapid prototyping machine “bakes” the implant from metal powder.
Scientists have learnt many things from nature – for example, the structure of a bone. Bones are very light but nonetheless able to withstand extremely heavy loads. The inside of a bone is like a sponge. It is particularly firm and compact in certain places, and very porous in others. The lightweight construction industry is especially interested in copying this construction method.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Applied Materials Research therefore developed a simulation program that calculates the internal structure and density distribution of the bone material. From this, the scientists were able to derive the material structure for other components. The program simulates how the structure needs to be built in order to meet the specified requirements.
The researchers have now managed to put these simulations successfully into practice. Engineers can produce complex components with the aid of rapid prototyping technology. This involves coating a surface with wafer-thin layers of special metal powder. A laser beam heats – or sinters – the powdered metal in the exact places that need to be firm. “It’s like baking a cake,” says Andreas Burblies, spokesman for the Fraunhofer Numerical Simulation of Products, Processes Alliance.
Any remaining loose powder is subsequently removed. “The end product is an open-pored element,” explains Burblies. “Each point possesses exactly the right density and thus also a certain stability.” The method allows the engineers to produce particularly lightweight components – customized for each application – that are also extremely robust. In the meantime, the researchers have further enhanced the process to the point where they can actually change the internal structure of the parts after production by means of precision drilling.
“We can manufacture and adapt the parts exactly as required,” says Burblies. This makes the technique very attractive to a number of industries, among them the manufacturers of bone implants. It is easy to produce individual implants with an internal structure that resembles the patient’s bone.
Metal powders made of biomaterials such as titanium and steel alloys make it possible to reconstruct other bone elements, such as parts of the knee. And it goes without saying that the lightweight construction industry, especially aircraft, automobile and machine manufacturers, all benefit from the robust workpieces, as they are better able to withstand stress of every kind.
Press Office | alfa
Implantable transmitter provides wireless option for biomedical devices
04.08.2020 | Purdue University
Certainty in just 15 minutes – researchers develop a graphene oxid based rapid test to detect infections
03.08.2020 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration IZM
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences