Steinbeis Innovation Center Intelligent Functional Materials, Welding and Joining Techniques, Implementation


Applied research, development, engineering design, and technology exploitation

  • Materials science:
    • Lightweight functional materials
    • Shape-memory alloys (smart materials)
    • Particle-reinforced/fibre-reinforced composites
    • Welding of different materials, multi-material mixes, and application-optimized materials
    • Enhancement of material properties – surface treatment
  • Joining technology/welding:
    • Electric arc and beam welding processes
    • Mechanical joining techniques
    • Hybrid joining techniques
    • Resistance welding and HFI welding processes
    • Manual, robotic, plasma, submerged arc, TIG, and  MIG/MAG welding
    • Welding equipment and devices
  • Components/exploitaton:
    • End-to-end design of joined components and component assemblies
    • Numerical simulation of functional materials and joint connections
    • Market analysis on the state of art of joining technology and applications
    • Pre-sales and marketing

Key Areas

  • Lightweight design
    • Metal lightweight construction materials (aluminum, magnesium, high-strength steels, basalt fiber composites, particle-reinforced composites, e.g. thermosetting plastic, thermosetting)
    • Smart lightweight functional materials; nano-doping of polymers with integrated electric/thermal conductivity
    • Graphite nano-particle doping for lightweight construction materials
    • Complex component design with functional materials and integrated joining technology; design of different types of joins and geometries
  • Digital solutions and artificial intelligence
    • Development of innovative physical functional principles for newly designed functional components, joining torches, and joining tools
    • Smart monitoring and fault detection systems using sensors, analysis, and evaluation
    • Additive manufacturing (AM technology) of component structures with defined features using 3D weld cladding involving plasma and laser welding techniques
    • Mechanization, process automation, inline monitoring of joining processes, and online testing of joining techniques
  • Joining and welding technoloy
    • Mixed construction, mixed joints, and multimaterial mixing of application-optimized materials
    • Numerical simulation (metaphysical, process, and  structural simulation) on thermodynamic processes involving thermal/mechanical joints, also involving simulation of the strength and residual stress of joined components
    • Functionalization of materials and component surfaces using plasma and laser beam processes
    • TIG, MSG, and MIG/MAG arc welding, plasma arc welding, and cutting processes – hybrid welding processes
    • Electric arc processes: laser and electron beam welding
    • Laminating, weld cladding, hardening, and soldering of metallic and non-metallic materials
    • Resistance welding, HFI welding, friction welding, and friction stir welding
    • Mechanical joining techniques (clinching, flow-drilling, bracketing, etc.) and different hybrid welding techniques
    • Market analysis on manufacturing processes used for materials, joining technology, joining technology production planning, configuration/workflow organization
  • Joining technology – the environment and health
    • Planning and development of metallic and non-metallic filler materials for screening electromagnetic radiation and improving the use of such materials in electric cars and electronics
    • Development of non-hazardous and environmentally friendly processing and machine technologies for manufacturing specific products or materials
    • Development of energy-efficient high-performance equipment and modules for different industrial applications
    • Development of special joining technology for manufacturing pharmaceutical devices and application-specific tools

Project Examples

  • Development of new types of thermogas-kinetic high performance forming processes for producing magnesium components with advanced reshaping properties for the automotive industry
  • Surface treatment of basalt fiber thermosetting plastic tapes with integrated functional elements using plasma treatment
  • Development of TIG cold wire welding processes with non-transferred electric arcs involving thermal joining of steel/polymer/steel-composites
  • Development of a new TIG robotic welding device using an adaptive replaceable nozzle system and heatpipe thermal heat dissipation
  • Development of a monitoring system for detecting weld defects and regulating TIG welding processes using acoustic emission analysis
  • Development of innovative welding technology for intermetallic component joining involving conditioning of the welding process using cold and/or hot gas from a vortex tube
  • Development of a process for manufacturing powdery, nano-scale solid materials and dispersions
  • Development of a system for producing thin tribological hard layers using laser hybrid technology for prismatic component surfaces
  • Development of a new type of orbital micro-plasma powder welding torch with a compact guidance system for coating inside pipes and similar components
  • Tribologically optimized inner surfaces of cylinders using macro and nano hard coatings for Tribop extruder bushes
  • Development of a process for the precise, selective application of repair coatings using extremely fine powders
  • Development of welding powders and corresponding technology for submerged arc welding of thick-walled aluminum parts
  • Development of non-hazardous and environmentally friendly processing and machine technologies for manufacturing flux for AI submerged arc welding
  • Development/characterization of an elastomer surface coating system on metal surfaces with the right properties for electromagnetically shielding and protecting against corrosion using butyl rubber 


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Otto-Schmerbach-Straße 19, D-09117 Chemnitz
Phone: +49 371 27096146
Fax: +49 371 27096144
Management: Dr. iur. Lars Kulke
PD Dr.-Ing. habil. Khaled Alaluss
(Stand: 05/02/2024)

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