Competences IFAM

Fraunhofer Nanotechnology Alliance

  Nanotechnology: a key technology for all fields of expertise of the FhG-IFAM

Bonding technology and surfaces

One main traditional area of work of the Fraunhofer IFAM is adhesive bonding technology. Here, the majority of the technological properties are determined by the interaction between the adhesive and substrate - nowadays this would be termed nanotechnology. Our work in this area ranges from the selection and testing of adhesives for specific applications right through to bond design and automation technology. The surface properties are modified by a wide variety of methods, with much emphasis put on plasma techniques.

Metallic nanoparticles

Metallic nanoparticles are manufactured using a broad range of methods. The focus is on noble metals. The materials are further processed into, for example, composites having hygienic surfaces, electrically conducting adhesives, ferro-fluidics, components made using powder-metallurgical processes and catalysts.

Nanocomposites - the interface determines the properties

Just like in bonding technology, the interaction at surfaces is vital for the successful manufacture of nanocomposites. With our accrued expertise in bonding technology, it was a natural progression for us back in 1997 to start developing nanocomposites. The main focus of current work is polymer-specific and application-specific modification of the surfaces of particles, compounding with a broad range of polymers and development of suitable processes. The following are examples of development work we have undertaken:

  • Rapid curing of adhesive bonds and subsequent detachment of the bonds using systems containing superparamagnetic nanoparticles.
  • Use of nanoparticles to simultaneously increase the strength and toughness of polymers.
  • Nanoparticle-containing materials for fire protection.
  • Abrasion-resistant coatings.
  • Reduction of the curing shrinkage and coefficient of thermal expansion.
  • X-ray contrast and hygienic surfaces for catheters.
  • Materials with improved resistance to moisture and media.
  Analysis: an essential aspect of systematic product development work
In addition to application tests, instrumental analysis is of vital importance for developing new materials. IFAM possesses a full range of state-of-the-art analytical equipment and has special expertise in interface analysis. If necessary for specific projects, analytical methods can be modified and completely new methods can be developed.

Fig.: Fire test on a nanocomposite based on an organobentonite in an epoxy resin.

  Fire test

perfectly exfoliated nanocomposite Fig. left: 3D-TEM image of a perfectly exfoliated nanocomposite based on an organobentonite in an epoxy resin.


Fig. right: User-friendly analytical equipment developed at IFAM for determining the particle size distribution. This equipment can also be used on turbid samples.

determining the particle size distribution

Production of nano structured bulk metals (link onto external pdf file, 1.3 MB, in German)

to overview "competences of involved institutes"

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