Fraunhofer IWS

Brief Profile

The Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS Dresden stands for innovations in laser and surface technology. As an institute of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e. V., IWS offers one stop solutions ranging from the development of new processes to implementation into production up to application-oriented support. The fields of systems technology and process simulation complement the core competencies.

The business fields of Fraunhofer IWS include PVD and nanotechnology, chemical surface and reaction technology, thermal surface technology, generation and printing, joining, laser ablation and separation as well as microtechnology. The competence field of material characterization and testing supports the research activities.

At Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau, IWS runs the Fraunhofer Application Center for Optical Metrology and Surface Technologies AZOM. The Fraunhofer project group at the Dortmunder OberflächenCentrum DOC® is also integrated into the Dresden Institute. The main cooperation partners in the USA include the Center for Coatings and Diamond Technologies (CCD) at Michigan State University in East Lansing and the Center for Laser Applications (CLA) in Plymouth, Michigan.




Flexible additive manufacturing of functional components

The high potential of additive manufacturing is opposed to the large variety of unsolved issues. These issues can only be solved in a close collaboration between science and industry.
Fraunhofer IWS initiated the project "Additive Manufacturing" (Agent3D) to advance the required collaboration.


Milestones in battery research

Research in the areas of electromobility as well as stationary energy systems is a central subject at IWS in Dresden. Important contributions can be provided to battery fabrication processes based on the numerous IWS manufacturing process technology development areas.


Laser beams stamp microstructures

Two- and three-dimensional micro and nanostructures facilitate completely new surface features. Two prominent examples of nano- and microstructures with functional properties are the water-repellent lotus effect and the friction-reducing sharkskin.


Diamond-like coatings save fuel

Coating engine components with hard carbon reduces friction to almost zero – a development that could save billions of liters of fuel worldwide every year. Now researchers have developed a new laser method to apply the coating on the production line.


Remote laser metal cutting

Remote laser cutting allows for sublimation cutting without further cutting gas assistance. Thanks to continuously developing the procedure multiple materials can be processed. The technology was introduced in manufacturing halls and application labs, in order to costeffectively
cut non-stampable geometries.


Joining in aircraft manufacturing – more efficiency by lightweight construction

With respect to the complexity of requirements regarding reliability of extremely stressed lightweight construction and to the application of latest material developments, the aerospace industry still represents one of the most essential economical and scientific driving forces. Fraunhofer IWS contributes to developing the necessary technologies.


Artificial mini organisms instead of animal testing

Microphysiological systems, in which organs and organ systems are “created”, are a promising alternative to animal testing. Therewith, complex mechanisms of the human body can be realistically analyzed. Among other things, these microsystems contain channels, reservoirs, actuating elements, sensor technology and 3D scaffolds “made by laser”. The Fraunhofer IWS offers partners from the fields of biology and medicine complete solutions for microsystem
technology – from design to prototype, including the automation system.


Increasing the service life of turbine blades with laser

Researchers of the Fraunhofer IWS have developed a laser-assisted procedure for localized surface layer hardening. Through laser heat treatment of the surface layer with two semisimultaneously working lasers and a subsequent hardening, they succeeded in producing a consistent wear and fatigue-resistant surface layer. The result is a hardness zone, in geometrical terms optimally adapted to the localized wear and stress of turbine blades.