I. Microstructures in Manufacturing Processes
II. Solidification Microstructures in Casting Processes
III. Microstructures in Geological Materials
IV. Modelling and Simulation Techniques in Material Science

Project Partners

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Group of Prof. Dr. Norbert Link

Universität Karlsruhe
Westhochschule Gebäude Nr. 06.31
Hertzstraße 16 D-76187 Karlsruhe
Phone: +49-721-925-1476

Research Fields

1. Intelligent Manufacturing Machines forming Smart Factories

Goal 1: Flexibility and adaptability to task variation
Methods: Task understanding
Situation sensing
Process method finding
Learning through experiments
Learning from process data
Goal 2: Co-operation to fulfil higher task
Methods: Intelligent co-operation
Hierarchical organisation
Goal 3: Integration of Humans
Methods: Advanced Human-Machine Interaction
Worker Activity Understanding
Solutions: Expertons
Basic Functional Experton Structure
Experton Hierarchy

2. Control of Manufacturing Process Chains

Goal 1: Modelling the Interaction of Processes in a Chain
Methods: Numerical Simulation
Generic Interaction Models
Goal 2: Monitoring the Process State
Methods: Observer Models
Generic Process Models
Non-linear Parameter Estimation

Scientific Staff

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Phys. Norbert Link

Dipl.-Ing. Bastian Hartmann
Dipl.-Math. (FH) Manuel Hopfinger
M. Sc. Yusuke Okahira
Dipl.-Phys. Jürgen Pollak
Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Math. Alireza Sarveniazi
Dr. rer.nat. Ingo Schwab
Dipl.-Inform. (FH) Christoph Vedder

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Engineering Mechanics, Group of Prof. Dr. T. Böhlke

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Engineering Mechanics

The research work of the chair of continuum mechanics focuses on both, the fundamental as well as application-oriented description of materials with microstructure based on homogenization methods and includes material testing and model identification. The methodical focus points are hereby the mathematical modeling within the frame of non-linear continuum mechanics and continuum physics as well as scientific computing.

Research Topics

Finite theory of anisotropic plasticity
Crystallographic textures and texture evolution
Homogenization of elastic and visco-plastic material properties
Mathematical description of microstructures
Localisation, failure and damage mechanisms

Selected research projects

Elastic properties of polycrystalline microcomponents

The statistics of Young's modulus of microspecimens subjected to a tensile load is examined experimentally, numerically and analytically. The material considered is StabilorG, a dental alloy, mainly consisting of gold. Tensile tests with microspecimens produced by vacuum pressure casting have been performed using a self designed universal micro testing machine. The numerical approach is based on the finite element method, whereas the microstructure is described by a periodic Voronoi tessellation with randomly oriented grains. The analytical approach is based on an explicit formulation of the singular approximation in terms of texture coefficients and is valid for arbitrary sample symmetries. It is found that the finite element approach and the analytical approach reproduce the experimental findings. Furthermore, it is shown that the mean value and the standard deviation of Young's modulus of microspecimens made of cubic crystals subjected to tensile loads can be described by a unified scaling law. The results imply that the statistics of apparent properties of cubic crystal aggregates can be determined using anisotropic effective medium approximations.

Contact: K. Jöchen or F. Fritzen

Energetic models for thermomechanics of multi-phase materials

The mechanical response of multi-phase materials mostly includes weakly regular or non-smooth fields which are not included in the solution space of the standard initial and boundary value problems. Energetic models offer a mathematical elegant and promising approach since they consist of an energy conservation equation as well as a stability inequality in global form and can treat non-convex energy functionals as well. Numerical implementations are possible based on time-incremental minimization formulations. In regard of the increasing need for material modelling under thermomechanical loading, a thermodynamically consistent extension of the existing isothermal energetic models is developed where additionally interface contributions and phase transformations are taken into account. Additionally, the evolution of the microstructure can be tracked. Due to existence and uniqueness of solutions of the energetic models, restrictions on the physical parameters are derived. Among others, the multi-phase steels represent an important technical application for such models.

Contact: Dr. T.-A.Langhoff

Contact Address:

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Thomas Böhlke
Chair of Continuum Mechanics
Institute of Engineering Mechanics
Fon: +49 (0)721 608 4 8852
Fax: +49 (0)721 608 4 4187


Kaiserstr. 10, Building 10.23, 3rd Floor, D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Production Science, Group of Prof. Dr.-Ing. V. Schulze

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Production Science (WBK)

The wbk – Institute of Production Science is managed by a cooperative board of management composed of three equal heads of section.
Gisela Lanza is head of the Section of Production Systems. Through successful participation in the German Excellence Initiative she received a shared professorship in “Global Production Engineering and Quality”. For the next four years she will be working both at the Institute and at Daimler AG in the field of strategy, which gives her the opportunity to gather indispensable hands-on experience in industry while, at the same time, being able to follow up on her research activities.

Christian Munzinger manages the Section of Machine Tools and Handling Technology on his own account. He is aiming to further increase and expand the group and is now also responsible for a major part of the permanent members of staff.

A highly qualified expert in materials science, Volker Schulze joined the wbk with a detailed knowledge of production engineering to become a member of the management board and its spokesperson. He has been closely involved with the wbk for many years participating in a wide range of joint research projects and adds the field of materials science to the wbk research spectrum of production engineering.

This constitutes another unique feature of the two Institutes wbk and iwk1 (Institute of Material Science I) which is unprecedented at the international level.

This young and motivated team can also call on Professor Hartmut Weule for support who can draw from many years of experience in the field.



The research matrix of the wbk

The main pillars of our institute are the three research sections:
• Center for Materials Processing
• Machine Tools and Handling Technology
• Production Systems.
The knowledge and expertise from selected fields of production science constitute the fabric of these sections. Our investigations deal with new fields of research that imply a high potential for innovation and industrial application as we focus on:
• Micro-Production
• Virtual Production
• Life-Cycle-Performance
• Lightweight Manufacturing.
This approach allows us to adopt a holistic perspective and focus on targeted development.
The matrix structure allows drawing on an extensive pool of knowledge and, instead of being constrained to one field of research at a time, takes an integral approach by considering the specific problem in the context of all fields of research which, in turn, facilitates the quick and comprehensive identification of future-oriented, overlapping areas.

The research sections

Center for Materials Processing: Re-search on the mechanisms at processing metallic materials, as well as the development and optimization of manufacturing techniques and their technology.

Machine Tools and Handling Technology: Development of innovative, integrated solutions for machine tools, as well as for the process near, process distant and process-overlapping handling technology. The goal is to increase the available dynamics, accuracy and flexibility.

Production Systems: Development of methods and tools for the goal-orientated formation and optimization of faster, more robust and more efficient production systems.

Contact Address:
Kaiserstr. 12
76128 Karlsruhe
Tel: +49(0) 721 608 2441
Fax: +49(0) 721 696 832

Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, Group of Prof. Dr. N. Jost

The Material Science Laboratory at the University of Applied sciences Pforzheim

The engineering faculty´s material science laboratory, supervised by Professor Norbert Jost, strives to convey the disciplines of material science, material testing, and structural analysis. To this end, it offers ample possibilities to run material testing procedures on many different types of samples, such as raw materials, semi-finished products, machine components or even implants. Among the many testing possibilities, the mechanical material testing procedures such as tension, compression, torsion, alternate stress, hardness, impact, friction, and wear tests play a prominent role. To perform these tests, the lab is fully equipped with the required devices, for example a modern servo-driven universal testing machine with automatic data logging. Much attention is also given to optical material testing, consisting of metallography, light-optical and electron microscopy, and polarization-optical analysis of thin sections. In order to perform these tasks, ample equipment is available to prepare samples, and besides the necessary microscopes, a modern image analysis software is implemented, capable of analyzing and evaluating parallelity, angles, grit size as well as evaluating hardness tests with loads as small as 0,1 HV.

In the sector of thermal analysis and thermal material treatment several kilns are available, such as a chamber kiln capable of thermal treatment under an inert gas atmosphere for up to 2000 °C. To complement the kilns, a high-precision dilatometer with a operation temperature range of -150 °C to 1500 °C and a difference scanning calorimetry device are available, further supplemented by equipment to analyze melt volume rate and softening temperature. A climatic testing chamber in conjunction with a salt spray test unit is used first and foremost to evaluate the impact of environmental parameters on components and assembled products.
In the plastics engineering department knowledge of different production techniques such as injection molding and extrusion is conveyed, as well as running tests and simulations of form filling, shrinkage and distortion processes.
Through an ample and completely equipped analysis and testing department along with a highly qualified lab staff, the laboratory has established itself far beyond its teaching duties as a partner for industrial corporations, rendering services as damage case analysis and product-supporting materials optimization, both in the Pforzheim metropolitan area as well as nation-wide or even international. As of late, several research projects in the area of materials science are taking place in cooperation with other universities, research centers, as well as industry partners.

Contact Address:

Prof. Dr. Norbert Jost
Tiefenbronner Str. 65
75175 Pforzheim
Tel.: 07231 286 581

Aalen University of Applied Sciences / GTA- Gießerei Technologie Aalen, Group of Prof. Dr. L. H. Kallien

University of Tübingen, Institute of Structural Geology, Prof. Dr. P. D. Bons and Dr. J. Becker


Center of Computational Materials Science and Engineering (CCMSE)

A joint research project of Karlsruhe, Pforzheim and Aalen Universities of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, University of Tübingen, DKFZ Heidelberg and Fraunhofer Institute IWM Freiburg

Project Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Britta Nestler
Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences
Moltkestr. 30
76133 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49(0)721-925-1504

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences

Moltkestr. 30
76133 Karlsruhe

Prof. Dr. Britta Nestler
Tel.: +49(0)721-925-1504
Fax: +49(0)721-925-1503

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Kaiserstraße 12
76131 Karlsruhe

Postfach 6980
76128 Karlsruhe

Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Alexander Wanner
Tel.: +49(0)721-608-4160

Prof. Dr. Thomas Böhlke
Institut für Technische Mechanik

Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM

Wöhlerstr. 11
79108 Freiburg

Prof. Dr. Peter Gumbsch
Tel. +49(0)761-51-42-100

Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences

Tiefenbronnerstr. 65
75175 Pforzheim

Prof. Dr. Norbert Jost
Tel.: +49(0)7231-286-581
e-mail: norbert.jostspam

Aalen University of Applied Sciences

Beethovenstr. 1
73430 Aalen

Prof. Dr. Lothar H. Kallien
Tel.: +49(0)7361-576-2252

University of Tübingen

72074 Tübingen

Prof. Dr. Paul D. Bons
Institut für Geowissenschaften
Wilhelmstr. 56
72074 Tübingen
Tel.: +49(0)7071-297-6469

DKFZ Heidelberg

Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg

Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Meinzer
Tel.: +49(0)6221-422-366