User Apps

Fraunhofer Center HTL has long-established and continuously developed models for thermoprocesses that can reliably predict the behavior of ceramic and powder metallurgical green parts based on the parameters of the thermal treatment. These models have already been successfully used in many joint projects to optimize industrial processes, especially for thermal debinding and sintering. The methodology has now reached such a high level of maturity that the models can also be provided as user apps tailored to the needs of the customers.

In the area of microstructure development for multiphase ceramics, the HTL has also reached a level that enables the development of independent software tools based on microstructure-property simulations, which allow users to independently perform a top-down design of the ceramic microstructure required for specific application properties.

Apps for Thermal Process Optimization

Optimal process control in terms of throughput, product quality and energy efficiency for thermal treatments of ceramics and powder metals requires the most accurate knowledge possible of the material behavior under the influence of various process parameters. With its unique methodology, which combines precise in-situ measurements with kinetics-based FE models, the HTL can reliably determine the optimal process parameters for e.g. thermal debinding and sintering, but also for other processes such as melt infiltration, taking into account component geometry and firing stack structure. For interested users, a large part of the functionality of these models can now be offered as a user app, i.e. as independently executable software. The previously measured material data are permanently implemented in the program code; the user can vary the component geometry and most of the process parameters and thus independently optimize the process control without having to disclose confidential parameters if necessary. The level of detail of the models stored in the apps can also be created differently depending on user requirements.

Apps for Material Design

Ceramics can consist of multiple phases (with pores treated as a separate phase), exhibit anisotropic crystal properties, or be influenced by grain boundaries. The achievable material properties depend significantly not only on the respective phase fractions but also to a large extent on the microstructural conditions, in particular the grain size distributions and particle arrangement. The HTL's long-established microstructure models based on the in-house development of a ceramic-specific structure generator have now been so well automated that the simulations based on them can be used for generating databases that map macroscopic material properties for a broad variation of microstructure parameters. AI algorithms can be used to access this in terms of top-down material design, which automatically determines the best-suited compositions and microstructural properties for given material requirements.This is known as top-down material design. Provided that the database has been created and sufficiently validated for a particular combination of phases, a user app can be offered for independent top-down material design for this class of material. Currently, this methodology is mainly applied in funded R&D projects such as InCoKer.

Service Offering:

  • Provision of user-specific user apps for independent targeted optimization of thermal debinding processes
  • Provision of user-specific user apps for independent targeted optimization of sintering processes
  • Development of user apps for other thermal processes, such as drying or melt infiltration
  • Development of user apps for top-down microstructure design of multiphase ceramics
  • Joint R&D projects for further development of microstructure design of multiphase ceramics.

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