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Annual reports

  • German Minister Robert Habeck and Canadian Minister Jonathan Wilkinson show support for Canada-Germany co-innovations in the hydrogen industry / 2024

    Integrative Nanotech: A Fraunhofer spin-off revolutionizes hydrogen leak detection

    Joint press release of Integrative Nanotech and the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST / May 15, 2024

    Dr. Volker Sittinger (Left, Fraunhofer IST) and Dr. Hunter King (Right, Integrative Nanotech) finalizing agreements to develop high performance hydrogen sensors for leak detection applications.
    © Integrative Nanotech

    Integrative Nanotech, a dynamic spin-off from the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, has joined forces with its parent institution to revolutionize hydrogen leak detection. This strategic partnership will significantly accelerate the development of next-generation hydrogen leak detection systems and prove their production methods on industrial-scale production systems. The collaboration aims to propel the hydrogen-powered transportation sector into a safer and more efficient future.

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  • Award for many years of commitment / 2024

    Two SVC Distinguished Presenter Awards for representatives of the Fraunhofer IST

    Press Release / May 08, 2024

    The award winners Dr. Volker Sittinger (right) and Dr. Ralf Bandorf after the presentation of the Distinguished Presenter Award.
    © Fraunhofer IST

    Within the framework of this year’s conference of the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC TechCon 2024), the two long-standing employees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, Dr. Ralf Bandorf and Dr. Volker Sittinger, were honored with the “Distinguished Presenter Award”, which was conferred for the very first time. The award honors individuals who have enriched the SVC technical program through sustainable contributions towards the advancement of vacuum coating, surface engineering and related technologies.

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  • Online format "TransferTalk" enters the next round / 2024

    "Sustainability as the Success Factor in Industries"

    Press Release / April 12, 2024

    Net zero and carbon neutral concept. Net zero greenhouse gas emissions target. Climate neutral long term strategy. Hand put wooden cubes with decrease carbon emission icon and green icon.
    © Parradee,

    How can small and medium-sized companies efficiently develop and implement a sustainability strategy? What opportunities, challenges and risks are associated with this? Our experts will answer these and other questions in the next round of the online dialog format "TransferTalk" on 13 May 2024.

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  • The Fraunhofer IST at the Hannover Messe 2024 / 2024

    Pressure and temperature measurement in rolling contacts under mixed friction thanks to innovative thin-film multi-sensor

    Press Release / March 19, 2024

    Sensory roller bearing washers
    © Fraunhofer IST

    The measurement of pressure and temperature plays a crucial role in various technical applications from rolling bearings to gears and seals. In particular, there have been no solutions to date for measurements under mixed friction, i. e. the simultaneous occurrence of liquid and solid friction. At the Hannover Messe from April 22 – 26, 2024, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST will be presenting a newly developed thin-film multi-sensor that enables pressure and temperature measurements even under mixed friction and high loads.

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  • The Fraunhofer IST at the Hannover Messe 2024 / 2024

    Sensory tool inserts enable real-time quality control during injection molding

    Press Release / March 18, 2024

    Sensory tool inserts with 13 measuring points for injection molding, injection molding sample and plastic granulate.
    © Fraunhofer IST

    The economical and ecological manufacturing of components using injection molding requires a high level of process reliability. This requires precise recording and monitoring of relevant parameters such as temperature and pressure curves. At Hannover Messe from April 22 – 26, 2024, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST will be presenting real-time data acquisition directly during the running process using integrated and wear-resistant thin-film sensors. The special feature here is that the tribologically resistant multifunctional sensor systems are deposited directly on the tool surface, enabling measurement in the main load zones.

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  • New further training format at the Fraunhofer IST / 2024

    "think GREEN, act SMART: Introduction to sustainability for companies"

    Press Release / March 14, 2024

    The topics of sustainability and climate neutrality are becoming increasingly important in today's business world. In the wake of climate change and the growing awareness of our planet's limited resources, it is of great importance for companies to make their activities sustainable and minimize their environmental footprint. The demand for skilled professionals with expertise in sustainability and life cycle assessment (LCA), capable of effectively applying their knowledge within their respective companies, is constantly increasing, especially in areas such as purchasing or sales.

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  • Fraunhofer IST Head of Department appointed to the Advisory Board of the Association for European Sustainability and Eco-Management Professionals, VNU e. V. / 2024

    Association work in the field of sustainability and environmental management

    Interview  / March 13, 2024

    Prof. Dr. Stephan Krinke, Head of Sustainability Management and Life Cycle Engineering at the Fraunhofer IST, was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Association for European Sustainability and Eco-Management Professionals, VNU e. V. in December 2023. The Association is an independent collective that brings together industry, science and certification bodies and supports the practical implementation of sustainability and environmental management in companies. Furthermore, the VNU networks the stakeholders through conferences and regional meetings and helps to enable the implementation of the latest developments from science and standardization into practice.

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  • S Mile Solutions (Pty) Ltd – Fraunhofer spin-off commences work / 2024

    Help for the last mile in the sub-Saharan region

    Press Release / March 12, 2024

    The prototype of a mobile supply platform in field tests.
    © Fraunhofer ISE, Ricarda Sack

    No clean water, no functioning electricity grid, no primary healthcare – a scenario that is not uncommon in remote areas of the sub-Saharan region. The founding of “S Mile Solutions (Pty) Ltd”, a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, is seeking to change this. The start-up, based in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, provides smart, small-scale and off-grid infrastructure solutions that are mounted on commercially available pick-up trucks, thereby enabling companies and institutions to access rural and remote communities with their services and products.

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  • Technology development in the field of electrode coating for aluminum-ion battery cells in the BALU consortia project.
    © Jürgen Lösel / Fraunhofer IKTS

    In the joint project “BALU - Production technology for battery cell concepts on the basis of aluminum-ion technology”, a consortium of research institutions and specialized industrial companies is further developing the aluminum-graphite dual-ion battery (AGDIB). As a result of its high power density, AGDIB technology has tremendous potential in the area of highly dynamic load requirements and could be an alternative to cost- and material-intensive lithium batteries. The project is pursuing the ambitious goal of transferring the production of AGDIB cells from laboratory scale to industry-compatible production conditions. In addition to the transfer of the new battery technology, explicit ecological considerations – such as environmentally friendly production, subsequent recycling, and the avoidance of critical raw materials – hereby play an important role. The BALU project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the “Batterie2020Transfer” program.

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  • Renewable energy / 2023

    Scalable solutions for green hydrogen production in South Africa

    Press Release / December 04, 2023

    Kick-off meeting HySecunda
    © Fraunhofer IMWS

    South Africa could play an important role in the coming years as a reliable producer of green hydrogen – including as a supplier for Germany. However, the storage and distribution of this resource currently poses challenges. This is where the recently launched Fraunhofer joint research project HySecunda comes in, which is a cooperation between nine Fraunhofer institutes and the Fraunhofer Academy. The project aims to find optimized solutions for produc-ing, storing and certifying green hydrogen. In addition, the consortium is sup-porting efforts to build capacity in the region and in current projects on hy-drogen-based fuels for the aviation industry.

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  • Europäische Woche der Abfallvermeidung (European waste-prevention week) from the 18th to the 26th of November 2023 / 2023

    Moving towards a climate-neutral future through closed material cycles

    Press Release / November 26, 2023

    © Fraunhofer IST, Illustration: Marén Gröschel

    Avoiding waste, conserving resources, saving energy, reducing CO2 production: On the path towards climate neutrality and in times of energy crises, the circular economy is of particular importance. This is also reflected in the Europäische Woche der Abfallvermeidung (European waste-prevention week), which takes place annually in November in order to increase public awareness regarding the sustainable utilization of resources.

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  • Funding notification received - The economic region continues to develop / 2023

    Fraunhofer IST founds innovation center in Helmstedt

    Press Release / November 21, 2023

    Thomas Klein, Managing Director of  Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH (left) and Dr. Guido Hora from the Fraunhofer IST (right).
    © Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt, Fotograf: Philipp Ziebart

    It was delivered this week: The next funding notification for the utilization of funds provided under the program for structural reinforcement. Once again, more than one million euros will flow into the further diversification of regional value creation. Specifically, the funds will be used for the project conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS entitled “Aufbau und Etablierung eines Innovationszentrums durch das Fraunhofer IST als Impulsgeber für Wissens- und Technologietransfer Maßnahmen” (Development and establishment of an innovation center by the Fraunhofer IST as a catalyst for knowledge- and technology-transfer measures).

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  • Concluding event: HyExperts project partners present assessment and regional potential / 2023

    How green hydrogen can be created and used in the region

    Press Release / November 16, 2023

    Abschlussveranstaltung HyExperts
    © Allianz für die Region GmbH

    Who are the hydrogen protagonists in South-East Lower Saxony? How do they work together? And where do the region’s cities and districts stand with regard to dealing with this key technology and the associated challenges? Answers to these and other questions were provided today at the concluding event of the HyExperts funding project “Wasserstoffregion Südostniedersachsen” (Hydrogen region South-East Lower Saxony). Around 70 representatives from regional companies and institutions gathered together at the start-up and business center in Helmstedt in order to obtain information regarding the results of the approximately one-year project work of the Allianz für die Region (Alliance for the region) and its partners. The participants provided a comprehensive insight into their assessment and analysis of potential, thereby illustrating how hydrogen can be created and used in the region. According to the analysis, the region is already well positioned and the protagonists are planning initial solutions or have already initiated them. According to those responsible, it would, however, make sense to improve the networking of regional activities in the future. HyExperts project partners are the district of Helmstedt as the responsible regional authority, Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, Allianz für die Region GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, and IAV GmbH.

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  • Osigus praises approval for the “Transformation Wilhelmshaven” project as an “important step” / 2023

    3.1 million euros for structural change in the Wilhelmshaven region

    Press Release / November 02, 2023

    © Fraunhofer IST

    The Wilhelmshaven region will receive 3,155,217.56 euros for the further implementation of structural change. The money will flow into the “Transformation Wilhelmshaven” project which is being conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and the Jade University of Applied Sciences. “Transformation Wilhelmshaven” is intended to help strengthen local transition in the industrial structure and the energy industry in order to increase value creation in the region, thereby sustainably improving the quality of life. The funding stems from the so-called “Kohlemittel” (coal funds), which are provided by the federal government for the management of structural change in the former coal-mining areas and which are administered by the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Bundes- und Europaangelegenheiten und Regionale Entwicklung (Lower Saxony ministry for federal and European affairs and regional development). The Federal Office of Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) has now approved the funding. It will run for three years.

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  • Floating knowledge platform Oker Space

    Press Release / August 22, 2023

    Oker Space
    © Fraunhofer IST

    The knowledge platform floating on Braunschweig’s Oker river provides visitors with information in the form of posters which focus on the fields of education, water-treatment technologies and ecological sustainability. “Sauberes Wasser durch Diamant” (Clean water through diamond) is the topic with which the Fraunhofer IST is participating; on the raft, the institute provides an overview of its expertise in the field of water treatment by means of diamond technology. The floating dock will remain open to the public until mid-October.

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  • Kick-off meeting for the “ScaleH2” project / 2023

    Scalable electrolyzers using innovative materials for hydrogen export to Germany

    Press Release / August 01, 2023

    The participants of the kick-off meeting of the "ScaleH2" project.
    © Fraunhofer IST

    Shipping the sunshine - How can green hydrogen be transported cost-efficiently from Australia to Germany? This question is being addressed by the Fraunhofer IST in collaboration with German and Australian project partners. The consortium plans to go beyond feasibility studies and to transport green hydrogen from Australia to Germany by means of validated developments in electrolysis technology and model-based evaluations of the hydrogen value chain.

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  • Two new positions for Head of Department Prof. Sabrina Zellmer / 2023

    New professorship links Fraunhofer IST and TU Braunschweig

    Joint press release issued by the Fraunhofer IST and the TU Braunschweig / July 10, 2023

    Dr. Sabrina Zellmer (centre)was appointed Professor of Battery and Fuel-Cell Process Technology at TU Braunschweig. Presentation of the certificate with President Professor Angela Ittel (left) and Professor Markus Böl, Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.
    © Madeleine Franke/TU Braunschweig

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabrina Zellmer, Head of Department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST in Braunschweig, has taken on not one but two new functions simultaneously. In April, Prof. Zellmer was appointed Professor for Battery and Fuel-Cell Process Technology at the Technische Universität Braunschweig. Located at the Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT), the professorship further strengthens the close alliance between the TU Braunschweig and the Fraunhofer IST. In addition, Prof. Sabrina Zellmer has held the position of Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer IST since 1st July 2023.

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  • Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST as of 13th June 2023 at Riedenkamp 2 / 2023

    New address for the Fraunhofer IST due to renaming of the street

    Press Release / June 12, 2023

    Fraunhofer IST in Braunschweig
    © Fraunhofer IST

    Information for visitors, customers and partners of the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST: The street Bienroder Weg has been renamed Riedenkamp by the City of Braunschweig. As a result, our address at the institute will also be changing.

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  • Fraunhofer Center for Energy Storage and Systems ZESS / 2023

    Groundbreaking ceremony for Fraunhofer ZESS institute building in Braunschweig

    Press Release / June 07, 2023

    Spatenstich für das neue Institutsgebäude des Fraunhofer ZESS: Dr.-Ing. Julian Schwenzel, Leiter des Fraunhofer ZESS, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabrina Zellmer, Abteilungsleiterin am Fraunhofer IST, Dr.-Ing. Christian Wunderlich, stellvertretender Institutsleiter des Fraunhofer IKTS, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Busse, Institutsleiter des Fraunhofer IFAM, Dr. Thorsten Kornblum, Oberbürgermeister der Stadt Braunschweig, Falko Mohrs, Minister für Wissenschaft und Kultur des Landes Niedersachsen, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Herrmann, Institutsleiter des Fraunhofer IST, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Arno Kwade, Vizepräsident der TU Braunschweig, Dr. Patrick Hoyer, zentraler Forschungskoordinator der Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (v.l.n.r.).
    © Fraunhofer | Fotograf: Andreas Rudolph

    The Fraunhofer Center for Energy Storage and Management Systems ZESS is centered around the development of system solutions for energy storage and hydrogen technologies. To achieve this, the three research partners — the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS — are being provided with a new institute building at the Braunschweig Research Airport. The groundbreaking ceremony on June 7, 2023 marked the start of construction on a research building comprising over 3,400 square meters of floor space. Among those who participated in the ceremony were the Minister for Science and Culture for Lower Saxony, Falko Mohrs; the mayor of Braunschweig, Dr. Thorsten Kornblum; and the vice-president for Technology Transfer and Innovation at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Prof. Arno Kwade.

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  • The Fraunhofer IST at Laser 2023 / 2023

    Fast, precise, automated: Customized optical measurement technology for production monitoring

    Press Release / May 24, 2023

    Optical broadband monitoring system MOCCA+®.
    © Fraunhofer IST, Jan Benz

    The requirements placed upon production are increasing continuously. Products are becoming more complex and, at the same time, a larger quantity of variants is being demanded. In order to meet these challenges, manufacturing processes must be optimized. Quality assurance, process monitoring and control as well as automation thereby play a special role. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, systems for improved process control and the automated process management of coating processes are developed on the basis of a holistic understanding of the process. One example is the MOCCA software, which will be demonstrated live at LASER 2023.

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  • SVC MentorAward
    © Fraunhofer IST, Holger Gerdes

    Dr. Andreas Pflug from the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST was presented with the “Mentor Award” at this year’s conference of the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC TechCon 2023) in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of plasma-process simulation. With the award, which has been presented annually since 2001, the SVC acknowledges exceptional contributions towards the development of vacuum coating technology or services to society.

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  • The Fraunhofer IST at the Hannover Messe / 2023

    Multisensory tools for digital process monitoring

    Press Release / April 03, 2023

    Multisensory stamp and forming parts.
    © Fraunhofer IST

    Autonomous, self-controlling production systems have tremendous potential in the transformation towards sustainability. At the Hannover Messe 2023, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST will be presenting innovative solutions for real-time data acquisition directly in the running process. Through the development of integrated and wear-resistant thin-film sensors, parameters such as force, temperature or wear can be recorded in the vicinity of highly stressed forming zones. As a result, the manufacturing process for high-quality cold-forged parts can be monitored and optimized from an ecological and economic point of view. This increases both process understanding and process reliability.

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  • The Fraunhofer IST at the Hannover Messe 2023 / 2023

    Sustainable process chains for the manufacture of resilient and smart tools

    Press Release / April 03, 2023

    Sustainable component and tool coating: CVD diamond coatings for various tool solutions.
    © Fraunhofer IST

    Whether drilling, turning or milling: In machining – as well as in primary forming and re-forming, die casting and many other applications – tools are of pivotal importance for industrial production. Their performance significantly influences both the quality and the cost of the manufactured product and, consequently, the economic and ecological sustainability of the production process. One objective of the work at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST in Braunschweig is the development of resilient and smart tools under the requirements of sustainability. The researchers thereby take the entire process chain into account - from tool design and material characterization, through pre-treatment, cleaning, and customized surface treatments and coatings, and on to testing and application.

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  • The Fraunhofer IST at the Hannover Messe 2023 / 2023

    Innovative sensor inserts enable monitoring of production processes

    Press Release / April 03, 2023

    Sensor insert cross wedge rollers
    © Fraunhofer IST

    In order to achieve optimum product quality, precise control of the production process is necessary. For this purpose, the relevant parameters must be continuously recorded. In this context, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST from Braunschweig will be presenting its most recent developments for the optimization of cotter rolling processes at this year’s Hannover Messe: Thin-film sensor inserts which enable precise in-situ detection of the temperature distribution on the tool surface.

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  • Fraunhofer researchers hand over mobile care platform to NGO for field tests / 2023

    Sustainable and decentralized: Health care in rural areas of the sub-Saharan region

    Press Release / March 06, 2023

    PreCare care unit
    © Fraunhofer IST, Lothar Schäfer

    With the aim of being able to ensure comprehensive preclinical care in even the most remote areas of Africa, researchers from the Fraunhofer institutes for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and for Solar Energy Systems ISE, in collaboration with Stellenbosch University and South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) in South Africa, have developed a mobile care platform which, on 3rd March 2023, was handed over to the NGO Rhiza Babuyile during a ceremonial event. The non-profit organization has a number of locations in South Africa and will conduct the one-year test phase of the supply unit in the Mpumalanga region.

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  • European project “TranSensus LCA” kicked-off in Brussels / 2023

    Fraunhofer coordinates a project on the harmonization of a transport-specific Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA)

    Press Release / February 02, 2023

    TranSensus LCA kicked-off in Brussels will pave the way for LCA-based product and business development within the road transport market.
    © Fraunhofer LBF

    The Fraunhofer-Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF and the Fraunhofer-Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST jointly coordinates a Support and Coordinated Action aiming at defining and harmonising a commonly accepted and applied single Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach for zero-emission vehicles ZEV. Both institutes brought together 44 key stakeholders along the full value chain of zero-emission vehicles covering, among others, vehicle and battery manufactures, the supply industry, energy providers and recyclers. This unique initiative is supported by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe Framework Programme and had its kick-off meeting on February 1 in Brussels with about 60 attendees.

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  • Fraunhofer researchers develop innovative method for clinical applications in the field of stem-cell-based retinal implants / 2023

    Controlled manufacture, storage and freezing of artificial retinal cells

    Press Release / January 11, 2023

    Scheme KryoRet
    © Fraunhofer IBMT

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative eye condition that affects approximately ¼ of the population. Particularly in the western world, it is the most frequent cause of blindness in humans. In most cases, the chronic progression of the retinal condition is not curable, as the window of opportunity in which any therapeutic action can be taken is very small. One potential new form of treatment is presented by stem-cell therapy. Fraunhofer researchers have now developed a new method for the production and clinical application of stem-cell-based retinal implants, which could contribute towards the successful treatment of AMD. Their approach thereby is to replace damaged tissue with stem-cell-based transplants.

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  • B+T Innovation Award 2022
    © Norbert Kaufmann, B+T Unternehmensgruppe

    On 1st December 2022, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST was honored with this year’s B+T Innovation Award in recognition of its human-centered research and development into sustainable as well as future-oriented technologies. The recipient is selected by a panel of experts from the B+T group of companies.

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  • The Fraunhofer IST at Formnext 2022 / 2022

    Layer by layer to more stability: New possibilities for 3D printing through integrated plasma treatment

    Press Release / November 14, 2022

    Plasma point source
    © Fraunhofer IST, Paul Kurze

    Additive-manufacturing processes are characterized by the fact that the components are built up layer by layer using, for example, plastics. The adhesion of the individual layers thereby plays an important role, as it significantly influences the stability of the printed components. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, plasma sources are currently being developed which can be integrated into the 3D printer, thereby enabling a targeted chemical modification of the surface during the printing process itself. Amongst other things, a significant increase in adhesion can consequently be achieved, which leads to new options for 3D-printed component manufacturing.

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