The group’s institutes also have made developments in a highly specialized field: tribological layer systems and surfaces. Here, they focus on increasing wear resistance in highly loaded systems. Not only are they developing wear-resistant layers but also suitable post-machining and functionalization processes in which the intrinsic properties of the respective materials are utilized.
In the field of tribology, Fraunhofer IST is examining the use of suitable thin-films to optimize wear- and friction-stressed systems in an integrated manner. Here, it designs and refines the surfaces of components and tools, while also taking into account the material, the production history and, of course, the concrete conditions of use. To assess these measures, it has various test methods at its disposal: among others, an impact tester and several tribometers.
Developed by Fraunhofer IWS, the Diamor® layers of tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) are extremely wear-resistant and exhibit low-friction. Therefore, they are ideally suited as protective coatings for tools, components and components under lubricated and non-lubricated operating conditions.
Diamor® layers can be deposited with very good adhesion in a wide range of layer thicknesses. The deposition takes place at low temperatures in a vacuum with specially developed pulse-arc processes. To commercialize the Diamor® layers, Fraunhofer IWS and its partner companies provide, in addition to the technology, the necessary coating sources and systems, as well as the LAwave laser acoustic testing technology for quality assurance and layer optimization.
Fraunhofer ILT is examining the functionalization of surfaces in the field of tribology in order to increase wear resistance or to reduce friction. Taking into account the material, the production history and the operating conditions, the institute refines the surfaces of components and tools, for example, by heat treatment, coating or a high-resolution microstructuring.