Fraunhofer CPM main topics

Programmable material permeability

The activities of the focal topic of programmable substance permeability are diversified - from the use of unconventional polymers for manufacturing membranes, to pressure stability and permeance-optimized membrane morphologies, new methods against fouling on surfaces up to the building of a material and function library.

Programmable heat transition

In the focal topic of programmable heat transfer, the cluster investigates different mechanisms regarding their suitability in programmable materials, including phase change, electromagnetic activation, sorption and capillary line as well as the change in the condition of filters.

Programmable shape changing and mechanics

In the  research topic of programmable deformation and mechanics, the cluster is researching the development of programmable materials based on mechanical unit cells. This includes the search for functional elementary structures, a complete understanding of their programming as well as the optimization of the production processes of unit cells.

Programmable friction

In the topic of “programmable friction’, the cluster investigates the possibilities of controlling friction by external triggers. Thus, for example, during the operation of a clutch, an optimum friction value for the current operating state can be set autonomously. In contrast to the unique adaptation of the lubricant to the friction system as it is currently state-of-the-art, this would be an enormous advantage. This could significantly increase the efficiency and service life of the application. The vision of the thematic focus is to program friction systems in such a way that they are always operated in the optimum tribological state over the entire application parameters. In principle, high (force transmission) or low (lubrication) coefficients of friction or a variation of both (positioning) can be desired.

Special attention is given to new solution approaches that make friction properties controllable by an optically or electrostatically induced change. These external switches specifically influence the interfacial chemistry and thus the accumulation of molecules or interactions between the two interfaces, thus enabling the control of friction properties (Pict. 1a, b).

Manufacturing and upscaling

The focus topic of “production and scaling” deals with the development of production methods for programmable materials to produce them at a reasonable price and use them in components. First and foremost, the members of this research team consider materials that can be programmed with regard to their mechanical properties and can, for instance, perform a predefined shape change as a response to an external trigger.

Product development with programmable materials

To enable and facilitate the access to and handling of programmable materials and to minimize the usage threshold of programmable materials, the research topic of product development deals with two main points: method development and system integration.