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Of all the aspects concerning additive manufacturing technology, the development and use of new materials is the least studied. In view of the fact that all the products we depend on every day are made from a variety of special materials, materials play a central role. For example, a special material may contain alloying elements that result in high strength combined with good fracture toughness or corrosion and creep resistance.

However, the range of such materials that can be used for additive-manufactured products is currently still very limited, as the materials often cannot be transferred to the new technology or cannot compete with conventionally manufactured products in terms of properties.

On the other hand, the development of new materials and alloys specifically geared to additive manufacturing shows that the technology makes it possible to realize property profiles that never seemed possible before and creates completely new degrees of freedom in the design and use of innovative products.

However, every new material composition used for additive manufacturing currently requires a significant development, which makes it necessary to consider the entire process chain from the production of the starting material to the additive manufacturing process, post-processing and property testing.

From powder to component

In powder-based additive manufacturing, Leibniz-IWT has access to the entire process chain - from powder to component - and thus has an important unique selling point for integrated material-oriented research into new materials for additive manufacturing.

Main areas of research

  • alloy development: steel, aluminium, metallic glasses, high entropy alloys
  • Pre-Processing: Melt atomization, powder characterization, modeling and simulation
  • Processing: powder bed based laser additive manufacturing, in-situ heat treatment
  • post-processing: heat treatment, distortion engineering, machining and surface treatment
  • Component testing and material characterisation: mechanical testing, metallography, physical analysis