Materials Integrity

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The Department of Integrity of Materials and Structures (IMS) of Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Münstermann acts interdisciplinary in the field of quantitative correlation of material microstructure, mechanical material properties and component performance. The focus is on metallic structural materials and steels in particular.

The IMS aims to replace the conventional property-motivated material design with a component-specific material design. The long-term goal is to fulfill the requirements identified on the component by means of tailored microstructures.

This new approach to materials development, called "digital materials development", is driven by complex material models, computer-aided simulations and AI approaches. The material models and simulations are calibrated and validated through comprehensive experiments across scales - from the micro-level, to laboratory samples, to the complete component.

Accordingly, the IMS is divided into three working groups:

The Micromechanics working group conducts research on the description of materials at the microstructure level. Here, crystal plasticity models and AI-supported microstructure descriptions are used. The aim is to develop tailored microstructures with property profiles required for the specific application.

The Macroscopic Modeling group researches the macroscopic description of the mechanical behavior of materials. The focus here is on the implementation of theories on plasticity, fatigue, damage and fracture of materials in suitable material models.

The task of the component performance working group is to transfer the newly researched models and simulation techniques into application. By analyzing limit states and critically loaded points in the component, its performance can be predicted and improved by suitable material selection. In addition, the working group will explore how the new approaches can be translated into user-friendly standards for the materials engineering design of industrial plants and machinery.

The research of the IMS is motivated, among other things, by the trends and challenges of the turnaround in energy policy, the electrification of transportation, hydrogen as an alternative energy source and a permanently safe design of machinery, industrial plants and infrastructure. The research projects are funded by industry and public agencies and are always characterized by close cooperation with the project partners.