Fraunhofer IFAM, Branch Lab Dresden

Brief Profile

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden, one of the leading institutes in powder metallurgy, is involved in fundamental and applied research for problem-oriented material and technology development for innovative sintered and composite materials, functional materials for energy technology as well as cellular metallic materials.

The service range comprises the industrial implementation of the research results up to the manufacture of prototypical components. Special technologies like e.g. additive manufacturing (Selective Electron Beam Melting, 3D screen printing and Fused Filament Fabrication), melt spinning, melt extraction and spark plasma sintering support the material and component development.

In the accredited testing laboratory, powder characterisations and tests of sintered materials are carried out according to DIN/ISO standards.

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden is one of the leading research institutes worldwide in the development of high-performance sintered materials for functional applications.

The institute stands out due to its strong interdisciplinary team in the areas of materials and manufacturing engineering, process technology, mechatronics, chemistry and physics which will develop the solution tailored to your problem.


Focus of Development


  • Cellular metallic materials, like metal hollow sphere and lightweight structures, highly porous fibre structures, open-cell metal foams, 3D screen-printed structures and porous metal paper for versatile applications
  • Materials and manufacturing techniques for functional materials in hydrogen technology and electrochemistry
  • Materials for thermal storage and thermal management systems as well as high-temperature materials
  • Light metal alloys, esp. aluminium and titanium
  • Metal-Matrix-Composite Materials, esp. for passive cooling of electronic components as well as friction and sliding materials
  • Development of powder-metallurgical technologies and processes
  • Additive manufacturing, esp. Selective Electron Beam Melting, 3D screen printing and Fused Filament Fabrication


Fields of Expertise


  • Automotive industry, e.g. thermoelectric and crash-absorbent materials, lightweight construction and sound absorber materials, diesel particulate filters, super capacitors
  • Electronics, e.g. thermal management, thermoelectric materials, conductor materials, heat exchangers made of cellular metals
  • Power engineering, e.g. materials for hydrogen generation and storage, electrode materials, heat exchangers made of cellular metals, thermoelectric materials, composite materials or latent and sorptive high-performance storage units, high-temperature alloys, super capacitors, heat sinks
  • Mechanical engineering, e.g. lightweight materials with high damping capacity, friction and sliding materials
  • Medical engineering, e.g. implant materials made of cellular titanium, biodegradable materials made of magnesium and iron
  • Aerospace industry, e.g. aluminium alloys, high-temperature materials, multi-functional lightweight materials made of cellular metals, titanium materials and titanium aluminides


Research Highlights


Aluminum fiber structures for highly efficient heat pumps

As part of the project “Development of a Gas Adsorption Heat Pump with a Crystallized Zeolite Heat Exchanger and a New Evaporator- Condenser Apparatus (A DOSO)”, funded by BMWi, the Fraunhofer IFAM in Dresden is working with Stiebel Eltron GmbH & Co. KG, SorTech AG and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg to develop a highly efficient adsorption heat pump for the provision of hot water and heat in residential buildings.


Electron Beam Melting - versatile and productive


High-efficiency electrode materials for gas-generating reactions

For political, security, and energy strategy reasons it is vital to guarantee the availability of raw materials. Hydrogen is one of the irreplaceable base chemicals of the chemical industry and, being an energy source, is one of the central pillars of the shift to renewable energy. The CO2-neutral production of hydrogen can only be achieved industrially via the electrochemical splitting of water in an electrolyzer that is powered by renewable energy sources.


Metallic materials for implants – highly porous and degradable

An ongoing medical problem is how best to treat major bone damage. Such damage does not heal spontaneously and requires implants. The best bone replacement is, and always has been, the patient’s own bone. However, only limited amounts of this are available and its removal also involves risks. The use of a synthetic bone replacement is also accompanied by various risks. The ideal solution is a degradable material, namely implants which disappear after successful bone healing.


PowerPaste – Hydrogen without storage pressure

The most important advantages of hydrogen as a secondary energy carrier have long been known. However, hydrogen has not yet been widely established on the market, for example for fuel-cell applications in the mid-performance range, because until now the available hydrogen storage solutions could not be established in the market due to costs, problems with their technical implementation, or lack of hydrogen infrastructure. PowerPaste, a new development from Fraunhofer IFAM in Dresden, has the potential to fundamentally change this situation.


Recycling of rare earth magnets and production waste

The imposition of export duties by China in 2010 and 2011 for certain raw materials made lowering the need for rare earth imports a key economic goal of the German government. The three main ways of achieving this goal are exploiting own primary deposits, reducing the use of or substituting certain rare earth elements, and recovering rare earths via recycling.


Efficient use of energy using thermoelectric materials

Increased energy efficiency, resource conservation, and the reduction of CO2 emissions are some of the most important social and economic challenges of our time. When energy is produced, up to 50 % of the primary energy is lost as waste heat, however. Thermoelectric generators (TEG) can contribute to more efficient and low-emission energy usage by recovering energy from this waste heat.


New concept for environmentally friendly production of aluminium