New projects in Sulzbach-Rosenberg

3D Cover – Metallic materials in the process chain of additive manufacturing

Press Release / March 28, 2018

3D COVER researches and develops material-specific fundamentals for powder bed-based additive manufacturing (AM) processes using lasers (selective laser melting - SLM) for metallic materials.

© Fraunhofer UMSICHT
project partner
funding notice

The »3D COVER« project is funded by the EU and has a duration of three years. It creates research bases for the entire process chain of this process, which is developing into a manufacturing technique that will be as important as traditional component production via mechanical processes and casting processes.

The aim of the project is to create a material-specific knowledge base for the SLM technology, which still does not exist sufficiently in this form. A further objective is to expand the research infrastructure and capacities in the project area, based on existing equipment and expertise, and to support the future-oriented training of specialists in the region.

Future technology for »additive manufacturing«

3D COVER creates knowledge bases for the future technology of »additive manufacturing«, whose high potential is recognized in all industries. The component is built up by the layer-wise application of powder layers, which are successively locally melted by means of a laser. Due to the layer-wise generation of the component with partial re-melting and high solidification rates, different microstructures, local stresses and the formation of pores and impurities as well as a number of other phenomena can follow, which lead to locally different component properties and anisotropic effects. Due to the multitude of influencing factors and the relatively young powder bed based AM technology, there are a number of insufficient or largely unexplored areas in which the relationships between AM process parameters, materials and microstructures with the resulting mechanical properties are not fully understood. In the project, basic knowledge will be determined to further clarify these interrelationships. This new basic knowledge will serve as a basis for future applied research and development.

Research cooperation leads to a future-oriented production technology

In the research cooperation 3D COVER three institutes work together which have a high level of detailed knowledge in the fields of material sciences (all partners), powder production (Fraunhofer UMSICHT), additive production (OTH Amberg, Fraunhofer UMSICHT), laser material treatment (OTH Amberg), component characterisation and modelling (COMTES FHT a. s., OTH Amberg). The combination of this expertise to investigate a future-oriented manufacturing technology is a unique selling point and necessary for project implementation.

The department Recycling Management of the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT is specialized in the production and development of atomized powder material as well as in the development of concepts for the recovery of raw materials.

Development of specific materials 

At present, the choice of materials and the range of applications for component production are still limited. 3D COVER pursues with its concept to develop and characterize specific materials over the entire process chain, to apply innovative characterization methods and to qualify an integral approach. Basic research and high application relevance are combined in a way that goes beyond current practice. The cooperation of the institutes creates a unique combination of expertise and infrastructure in the project area, which sets decisive impulses for the innovative power of the region and forms the basis for further cooperation.