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Every structural material has special properties that make it stand out from other materials under certain conditions. As the requirements placed on the structures used in lightweight construction are becoming increasingly complex, structural development is increasingly moving in the direction of high-performance materials and material systems.

In this context the following is of interest

  • property profiles of individual material compositions, because metallic materials in particular show high performance potentials that are far from exhausted.
  • The aim is to combine different metallic and non-metallic material compositions in such a way that the individual material-specific advantages are optimally exploited in the composite.

As a cooperation partner for industry and research, the focus of the Lightweight Construction Materials Department is on the systematic, application-oriented and demand-oriented optimisation and further development of such materials and material systems, including component production and joining and testing methods.

Our activities include

  • Materials: Aluminium and titanium alloys, high-strength steels, property graded metals, metal-metal composites, hybrid composites, functionally integrated materials
  • Manufacturing process: Material-oriented additive manufacturing, alloy development, powder production, heat treatment, quenching, hardening, joining, testing


Projects Leightweight Materials


@ALL – Additive Manufacturing for Aluminum Launcher Structures

In the aerospace research project, the additive manufacturing of secondary structures in launcher vehicles made of high-strength aluminum alloys was a central theme.

The focus was on the industrialization of the existing alloy Scalmalloy® as well as the development of completely new, less expensive and yet high-strength aluminum alloys. Investigations along the entire additive process chain, from powder production through LPBF processing to materials testing, enabled a comprehensive understanding of the additive processability and the material mechanisms. Furthermore, two demonstrator structures were subjected to topology optimization with regard to the geometric freedom and subsequently manufactured using LPBF.

The project was successfully completed in November 2020.

Editing: IWT-WT / VT

Funding: EFRE-LURAFO 1010A

This project is part of the research focus "Additive Manufacturing" at IWT Bremen.

M.Sc. Marcel Hesselmann
Tel.: 0421 218-64549
E-Mail: hesselmann(at)

CustoMat3D – Tailored LAM-aluminum alloys for highly functional, multi-variant structural automotive components

Aim of the project CustoMat3D is to develop a simulation-based, material-specific laser additive manufacturing (LAM) process chain for the automotive industry.

 In concrete terms, new aluminum alloys for LAM shall be developed, which meet the automotive-specific requirements for strength, crash, part quality, etc. Finally, the process chain of highly functional vehicle structures shall be validated.

The IWT is responsible for the development of tailor-made aluminum materials for LAM production. An alloying concept was developed which uses the fast cooling rates in the LAM process to provide a competitive alternative to widely used materials. The suitability of the material was demonstrated using structural and chassis components for automotive applications.

Editing: WT-LW, VT-SK, EDAG Engineering GmbH, Concept Laser GmbH, Mercedes-Benz AG, ECKA Granules Germany GmbH, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM, Fraunhofer Research Institution for Additive Production Technologies IAPT, MAGMA Gießereitechnologie GmbH

Funding: BMBF ProMat_3D 03XP0101G

Duration: 02/2017 - 01/2020

This project is part of the research focus "Additive Manufacturing" at IWT Bremen.


M.Sc. Daniel Knoop / Farhad Mostaghimi
Tel.: +49421 218 51435
E-Mail: dknoop(at)

StaVari - Additive manufacturing of complex products in variable and highly functional steel structures

The aim of this collaborative research project is the development of a process chain for the laser additive manufacturing (LAM) of steel structures for the automotive and medical industry.

The main goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of highly functional and complex LAM-components and their combination options with conventional semi-finished parts. The IWT determined the alloy concept medium manganese steel (about 5-12 % Mn) with several variations, developed the powder spray forming process successfully and is working on a suitable heat treatment for the additive manufactured parts. Due to the multidisciplinary tasks, the two IWT main departments “Material Science” and “Process and Chemical Engineering” work closely together.


Funding: BMBF 02P15B052

Cooperation partners: EDAG Engineering GmbH, Ziehm Imaging GmbH, Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung GmbH, Indutherm Gießtechnologie GmbH, Concept Laser GmbH, Carl Cloos Schweißtechnik GmbH, Hema Electronic GmbH, Leibnitz Institute for Material-Oriented Technologies, Fraunhofer Research Institution for Additive Production Technologies IAPT, Chemnitz University of Technology, Chair of Lightweight Structures and Plastics Processing

This project is part of the research focus "Additive Manufacturing" at IWT Bremen.

M.Sc. Lena Heemann / Farhad Mostaghimi
Phone: +49421 218 51414
E-mail: heemann(at)

LHASa - Laser additive manufacturing of high-strength aluminum structures

The aim of this project is the additive manufacturing of components made of high-strength aluminum alloys.

The complete process chain from powder production to the tested component is considered, whereby the project is divided into the following sub-steps:

  •     Alloy development according to the component requirements
  •     Development of a powder atomisation system as well as powder production and characterisation
  •     Process development of the laser beam melting process for high-strength Al alloys
  •     Heat treatment strategies for components made of high-strength Al alloys
  •     Tests of the manufactured components

The investigations on heat treatment focus on the influence of the treatment on the mechanical properties of the components and the control of distortion.

Processing: WT-LW, IWT-VT

Funding: ZIM 16KN021235

This project is part of the research focus "Additive Manufacturing" at IWT Bremen.

Dr.-Ing. Anastasiya Tönjes
Phone: +49421 218 51491
E-mail: toenjes(at)


PORE-Ti - Machining optimized printing of Ti6Al4V components for composite parts with CFRP

The aim of this project is the production and machining of titanium-CFRP composite components whose titanium component is produced by selective laser melting.

The aim is to investigate whether the machining properties of the titanium-CFRP composite component can be positively influenced by introducing pores into the titanium. The focus is also on the potential for optimising the geometry of drilling and milling tools.
Additively manufactured components are usually produced close to the final contour. However, it is not always possible to do without machining, especially if the printed component is further processed into a composite component with a fibre composite material. This places special demands on the production process and tools, especially when combining titanium and CFRP.
Titanium is considered to be a difficult material to machine, with significantly higher forces acting on the cutting edge than is the case with CFRP. Therefore, tools for machining titanium are provided with a defined cutting edge rounding to prevent cutting edge chipping. With CFRP, however, this rounding leads to increased delamination or reamed bore walls. This poses a continuing challenge for the machining of titanium CFRP composites.

Editing: IWT-WT/ IWT-FT/Isemann


This project is part of the research focus "Additive Manufacturing" at IWT Bremen.

Dipl.-Ing. Annika Repenning
Tel.: +49421 218 51492
E-Mail: repenning(at)

Pegasus - Development of a pressure gas atomization process for a cost and material efficient production of aluminum alloy powder for additive manufacturing

Within the project “Pegasus” a novel pressure-gas-atomization process (PGA) will be developed to significantly increase the cost and material efficiency in the production and processing of aluminum powders. 

The potentially narrower particle size distribution of powders produced by PGA increases material efficiency and could thus create both ecological and economic advantages compared to conventional technology. In order to evaluate these effects, the produced aluminum alloys will be investigated with respect to their suitability for additive manufacturing. The focus is mainly on the characterization and processing of temperature sensitive powder alloys.

Editing: IWT-VT / WT

Funding: BMWI-AiF/ZIM

This project is part of the research focus "Additive Manufacturing" at IWT Bremen.

M.Sc. Marcel Hesselmann
Tel.: 0421 218-64549
E-Mail: hesselmann(at)

RobustAM - Robust and efficient processes for laser additive manufacturing

The objective of the project is to reduce the variability of quality-relevant product parameters (e.g. porosity) in laser additive manufacturing of metallic components.

Using the example of a Ti6Al4V component, it is to be demonstrated that the component service life can be significantly improved compared to the state of the art through appropriate understanding of the interactions and further development of the individual process steps, as well as improved process monitoring. In this way, the required testing effort should be reduced in the medium term and ideally only carried out selectively. Therefore, the data quality from the processes, a deeper understanding of the cross-process step interactions and the effects of defects on the component lifetime will be investigated.

Editing: WT-LW, AKON Robotics, AMSIS GmbH, BIAS GmbH, Materialise GmbH, Testia GmbH

Associated partner: Airbus Operations GmbH

Funding: EFRE-LURAFO3001C

Duration: 15.04.2020 until 31.03.2022

This project is part of the research focus "Additive Manufacturing" at IWT Bremen.

Dr.-Ing. Christian Werner
Telefon: +49421 218 51354
E-Mail: werner(at)



SupStruct3D - Phenomenological Model Calibration for the Automatic Generation of Optimised Support Structures for Laser Additive Manufacturing

The aim of the joint project is to develop a tool that enables these support structures to be generated fully automatically and optimised for each construction process in order to reduce process time, material and post-processing effort.

This is because components that are laser-additively produced from metal powder usually have to be stabilised during the construction job by so-called support structures.

For this purpose, a test specimen development is first necessary, which ensures that the specimens always fail in the area of the support structure (not in the overhang to the clamping area of the tensile testing machine) and are tested in a non-preloaded state. The subsequent mechanical characterisation of varying support structure is incorporated into an extended material model. With the help of a few printed calibration samples, the support optimisation module can then make it possible to generate the optimal support structure without lengthy tests.

Editing: IWT-WT-LW

Funding: EFRE-FUE0616B

Cooperation partner: Additive Works GmbH

This project is part of the research focus "Additive Manufacturing" at IWT Bremen.

M.Sc. Lena Heemann
Tel.: +49421 218 51414
E-Mail: heemann(at)

GenMat3D – Generation of tailored material properties by selective laser beam melting for launcher structures

The overall aim of the GenMat3D project is the development of a new type of process control for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), which enables the production of components with material properties tailored to the specific requirements.

Such a process control could be used in integrally printed large bionic structures in the aerospace industry. By applying local gradation, adapted to the requirements, the aim is to decrease production times while optimizing the weight of the components at the same time. To make this possible, correlations between the process parameters and the resulting component properties must be determined. Especially on the microscale there is no sufficient knowledge about the influence of component temperature and geometry on the material properties.

Editing: WT-LW, Ariane Group GmbH, Materialise GmbH, Reiner Seefried GmbH

Funding: EFRE_LURAFO2002A

Duration: 04/2019 - 12/2021

This project is part of the research focus "Additive Manufacturing" at IWT Bremen.

M.Sc. Daniel Knoop
Tel.: +49421 218 51435
E-Mail: dknoop(at)

CFK4KMU_Mach - Development of a knowledge-based planning system for the machining of CFRP composite materials

The project involves the development of a knowledge-based planning system to simplify the processing of CFRP composite components for new users.

The knowledge required for machining CFRP composite parts, such as defined input parameters, tools and cutting parameters required for the process, etc., should be determined without requiring long test series. From extensive test series, the input and output parameters for the knowledge-based planning system were determined on the basis of empirically found correlations and stored. Classic drillings and orbital drillings of CFRP components and hybrid composite components were considered.

Editing: IWT-WT, IWT-FT

Funding: BAB

Dipl.-Ing. Annika Repenning
Tel.: +49421 218 51492
E-Mail: repenning(at)

HyPaGear - Development of a gearbox cover made of short fibre reinforced thermoplastic with metallic bearing seats

To realize an optimum lightweight design, the collaborative project "HyPaGear" has investigated the production of a gearbox cover made of fiber composite materials, which is conventionally produced from die-cast aluminum.

In the area of high load, a material-hybrid reinforcement insert is integrated, with which a better load transfer from the roller bearing into the short-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic will be guaranteed.

Processing: IWT-WT/FiBre/Weberit

Funding: BMWi-AiF/ZIM

Dipl.-Ing. Annika Repenning
Tel.: +49421 218 51492
E-Mail: repenning(at)

SFB 1232 „Farbige Zustände“ – Subproject U03: Thermal and thermomechanical treatment

The scientific approach of the project U03 of the collaborative research center SFB 1232 “Farbige Zustände” was intended to contribute to a wide range of multiscale adjustment of properties for samples made of steel and aluminum alloys by technical and, beyond this, novel heat treatment processes and process combinations.

Editing: WT-WB and LW

Funding: DFG, SFB 1232 „Farbige Zustände“

Dr.-Ing. Anastasiya Tönjes
Telefon: +49421 218 51491