Tribological coatings on gear wheels for the automotive sector.
© Fraunhofer IST, Rainer Meier, BFF Wittmar
Tribological coatings on gear wheels for the automotive sector.

Friction, wear and corrosion cause costs amounting to billions of euros every year in Germany alone. The development of durable, high-performance and resistant tribological systems with the aid of surface refinements is a key factor in saving costs and reducing environmental pollution therefore forms a focus at the Fraunhofer IST. Furthermore, thin, highly resilient sensor layers enable the targeted monitoring of such tribosystems, thereby reducing the risk of failure and, consequently, protecting people and the environment.

”Surfaces are the key to intelligent and efficient tribosystems.”

Dr.-Ing. Jochen Brand / Head of Department

Efficient tribosystems with high wear protection

In order to comply with the increasing requirements in tribological systems, the Fraunhofer IST focuses on material composites consisting of high-tech constituents and material-specific surface finishing. Surface technology offers new approaches to the design of components, and permits the utilization of other materials or even the elimination of lubricants and release agents.

Tribosystem evaluation and system optimization for resilient tribosystems

The basic prerequisite for the derivation of an effective solution strategy is the detailed evaluation of the tribosystems under consideration, taking into account all components and the specific operating conditions. Starting from a detailed system analysis, we then develop adapted material and surface solutions for our customers. For this purpose, we employ a wide range of coating technologies and layer materials, which can be evaluated via an application-oriented approach using a wide variety of test methods. Complex requirement profiles can also be fulfilled in this way. The monitoring of components, tools and complete manufacturing processes is a fundamental prerequisite for sustainable production and product use. In highly stressed contact points in particular, sensory functional layers can supply a wide range of information online which can be used specifically for the monitoring or control of processes. 

Economical and flexible production systems

At the Fraunhofer IST, however, we not only work on application and customer-specific solutions for the most diverse sectors but also develop economical, flexible production systems for these. As a result, our customers receive a production chain tailored to their specific requirements for the sustainable, series-production-capable implementation of the developed tribosystem and sensor solutions. 

We look forward to receiving your enquiry.


Our focus and expertise


Application-related surface modification


Process chains and systems for components and tools


Coatings for aluminum and magnesium die-casting tools


Highly wear-resistant diamond coatings for components and tools


At the Fraunhofer IST we are working on coatings and surfaces for sustainable products and production systems. In the department Tribology and Sensor Technology, Markus Mejauschek focusses on the development of durable and thus sustainable products such as tools. In the video he gives an insight into his everyday work.


We offer solutions for your applications


Industry solutions

Plant and mechanical engineering, tools



Magnetron sputtering


Industry solutions

Vehicle construction



Hot-wire-activated chemical vapor deposition


Industry solutions

Chemical industry



Plasma activated chemical vapor deposition