The Collaborative Research Center

When high precision components are produced using manufacturing processes in which the material goes through a molten phase, a special challenge arises: the geometry and surface of the component cannot be determined by the defined movement of a tool as is the case in machining processes, but by the melt flow and the melt solidification. In the latter case, precision is not only limited to small components that need to be partially made with nano- and micrometer precision, but also includes large components. For such larger parts high manufacturing precision is economically beneficial due to the high cost of components as the process chain is shortened without any reworking.

In addition to design and manufacturing factors, thermal effects, above all, also influence the component precision. These thermal effects result from solidification processes, heat transfer between melt and tool, heat dissipation in the component and from crystallization processes and structural changes.

To ensure the highest precision in these processes, new scientific approaches and technologies are needed to influence the generation of molten phases, their dynamics and their solidification during the process. Using the approach of “Precision Melt Engineering,” the Collaborative Research Center 1120 (SFB1120) is dedicated to examining this research topic, thereby aiming to elaborate a cross-dimensional description of the processes involved and to derive source-related measures to increase and achieve the precision needed for melt-based manufacturing processes such as master forming, joining, cutting, additive manufacturing and coating – processes in which a material is at least temporarily present in a molten phase during the process and a solid phase at the border of the same or a different material.

Depending on the dimension of the melt volume, the precision of these melt-based manufacturing processes will be increased by one order of magnitude, in which different criteria will be identified to define precision, such as warpage, formation of pores or surface quality, for the various manufacturing processes.

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