Plasmatreat and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Bremen have an enduring and successful partnership. The Fraunhofer IFAM opened the latest extension to its institute with an inaugural seminar on the 24 June.
Around 6200 m2 of state-of-the-art laboratories and workshops provides scientists with additional space to carry out sustainable research and development. The building funded by the federal and state governments will enable the institute to develop existing areas of interest and research issues of relevance to the future. With a center for demonstrating cleaning and pretreatment and two new laboratories – ‘Electrochemistry & Corrosion Protection’ and ‘Inline Surface Monitoring’ – the new facilities will make an important contribution to developing surface technology as a field of research. A 10 m2 pilot plant for functional nanocomposite coatings completes the technical installations. R&D partners Plasmatreat and the Fraunhofer IFAM have been collaborating on the use of atmospheric plasma technology for the cleaning, activation and functional coating of material surfaces since 1997. An example of recent cooperation is the ProStaR project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which is being carried out at the University of Kassel in conjunction with five other research partners. The aim of the project is to develop a production technology for the flexible series production of stator and rotor packages for electric drives (www.projekt-prostar.de).
During the inaugural seminar Dr. Alexander Knospe (Director of Innovation at Plasmatreat) and Dr. Ralph Wilken (Director of Plasma Technology and Surfaces at the Fraunhofer IFAM) gave a lecture on the ‘Application of plasma technology for manufacturing light-weight structures’. In expanding the technical facilities at the IFAM, particular emphasis was placed on fiber composite materials as a research field. The spacious new premises will enable test plants to be built on an entirely new scale in the future and thus facilitate the development of new approaches and concepts for materials and production processes – especially for the aerospace, automotive and wind power industries.
The Electrical Drives department set up last year will have a dedicated technical center in the new extension. Its research focuses on the development of electromobility, and in particular, increasing vehicle efficiency, developing prototype drive systems and integrating them into hybrid electric vehicles. Scientists working on the development of environmentally friendly solid fuel cells without liquid electrolytes and ‘Finding new solutions for next-generation batteries’ will also be housed in the new building. Both these branches of industry are becoming increasingly relevant for atmospheric plasma technology.
All photos: Fraunhofer IFAM