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Research Advanced Production Engineering


1. Thin films and coatings
Advanced coatings are the most economic and technical solution for enhancing the surface properties and functionalities of various products and components in all branches of modern industry. Physical vapor deposition (PVD) processes, especially magnetron sputtering, provide an efficient approach for massive production of advanced coatings with precise control of structure and property at the nanoscale. APE research focuses on the development and implementation of magnetron sputtering process of nano-structured self-lubricating coatings, ultra-hard yet ultra-tough coatings, flexible coatings, self-healing coatings, and bio‑compatible and degradable coatings. In addition, we study process control together with plasma diagnostics to further extend our research scope and ensure successful knowledge transfer into massive production in close cooperation with the producers of state-of-the-art PVD equipment and advanced coatings.

2. Laser materials processing
High-power laser processing and micro fabrication are newly developed technologies with wide applications in the automotive industry, precision instruments, medical devices, etc. This research direction aims to place the APE group in a leading international position in the fields of laser welding, coating, and rapid prototyping. Our research activities focus on the joining of structural materials, composites, dissimilar materials and reactive materials, with the central point on the strength and ductility of laser welds and process automation, as well as laser 3D printing and micro-fabrication.

3. In-situ microscopy
The basic components in materials development are the selection of materials, processing, characterization of microstructure and evaluation of properties. The ability of in‑situ microscopy to observe the evolution of material microstructure and properties in real time provides insight into material processes and mechanisms often unobtainable by other means. Our research effort on in‑situ microscopy is devoted to quantitative evaluation of the structure-property relationship with emphasis on mechanical phenomena like deformation and fracture, and other dynamic behavior of materials under a variety of stimuli.

4. Tribology
Tribology and surface engineering play a crucial role in machining, machinery and automotive industry in terms of energy savings (friction reduction) and work life prolongation and prediction (wear processes of components in motion). Our research concentrates on simulated wear experiments and the multiscale modeling of contact and friction to lay down the basis for surface engineering and advanced coating technology. We have developed in situ monitoring of surface structure evolution and wear with nanometer-scale resolution, which has already set a benchmark in the tribology of protective coatings (thin films). Furthermore, we perform fundamental research on dry and lubricated contact and friction utilizing molecular dynamics and finite elements simulations, in an effort to develop improved physics-based models for various processes.

Research Projects

  1. Advanced self-healing nanocomposite coatings
  2. Graphene film coated metals
  3. Mechanical property and failure prediction of resistance spot welded advanced high strength automotive steels
  4. Antibacterial hydroxyapatite coatings for medical applications
  5. Bio‑compatible and degradable coatings
  6. Fundamentals in the adhesion of PVD ZnMg-coatings for the next generation steels
  7. Control of porosity and surface roughness in topology optimized SLM conformal cooling systems (Post-doc vacancy)
  8. Cracking behavior and formability of ZnAlMg coatings (PhD vacancy)
  9. Large scale additive manufacturing by laser powder deposition
  10. Mass transfer of polysulfide ions in composite hierarchical porous carbon materials and its effect on electrochemical performance of lithium-sulfur batteries
  11. Basilar membrane inspired self-powered sensors for biomedical applications

Last modified:02 July 2021 12.36 p.m.