Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME)

Combining different simulation and experimental methods for faster, focused material development has gained in importance worldwide in recent years. This so-called Integrated Computational Materials Engineering, shortened ICME, is already being used frequently in the development of new metallic alloys, but is hardly ever employed in the field of ceramic materials. The key features of the concept can be transferred without limitation to ceramics: The aim is to elucidate the relationships between production and (micro-)structure (1), structure and properties (2) as well as properties and application behaviour (3) of materials and components made from them and to use them for the targeted development of new products.

ICME Methods at Fraunhofer-Center HTL

manufacturing structure properties operation behaviour material development ICME
© Olson, G.B.: Computational design of hierachically structured materials, Sience 277 (1997) 1237-1242
The three relationships "manufacturing + structure", "structure + properties" and "properties + operation behavior" are essential for targeted material development.

Essential modules for integrated, computer-aided material development are already available at Fraunhofer-Center HTL (publication: Integrated Computational Ceramics Engineering). Concepts for multiscale simulation are available for all three of the above-mentioned relationships. For the question of how the manufacturing process influences the structure (relationship 1), models on different scales are used: On the microscale, for example, the microstructure development during sintering is simulated as a function of the process parameters, e.g. the temperature-time curve, and insights into the conditions for the greatest possible homogeneity of the ceramic are derived from this (publications: Modelling Inherently Homogeneous Sintering Processes; Simulation of Sintering). On the macro scale, FE models for debinding (publication: Optimisation of Debinding Using Experiment-Based Computational Concepts) and sintering are available, which are strictly based on precise in-situ measurement data from the thermal process. With these models, the respective thermal process is optimised on the computer in such a way that the components reliably and crack-free achieve the desired final shape and density with minimal time and energy expenditure.

For relationship 2, a microstructure property simulation specially developed for ceramics (publications: Using a novel microstructure generator to calculate macroscopic properties of multi-phase non-oxide ceramics in comparison to experiments; 3D modelling of ceramic composites and simulation of their electrical, thermal and elastic properties), which is suitable not only for purely ceramic materials but also for predicting the material properties of metal-ceramic composites (MMC) and of ceramic fibre composites (CMC) (publication: 3D Modelling of Ceramic Composites).

Regarding relationship 3, the computer-aided evaluation of application properties, the measured structures of surface or volume defects are evaluated at the HTL for their effects with regard to the probability of fracture with the help of FE analyses.

Faster Material Development with ICME

Idea product ICME
© Fraunhofer-Zentrum HTL
Von der Idee zum Produkt

Integration of multiscale simulation, systematic evaluation of databases, experimental procedures and - if required - other methods according to the ICME concept offer the possibility of successful completion of material developments more rapidly and more purposefully than with the classical approach. But even with coordinated use of just a few components of the ICME concept, ICME tasks for material design and component design makes the process significantly more efficient. Fraunhofer-Center HTL therefore offers a correspondingly adapted variant of ICME for customized development of new products.

Our Services:

  • Planning and implementation of development projects with the assistance of ICME (Integrated Computational Materials Engineering)
  • Accelerated material, component and process design using ICME tools

Material Design


Component Design