Expert Committee
Cellular Materials

Almost any material can be converted into a cellularly structured form. In this way, the material properties can be combined with the structural properties and the application fields of the material can be broadened. Nature has demonstrated this impressively in many cases using combinations of cellular or porous structures with biological-material compositions. Through the further development of processes for material production, it is becoming increasingly possible to impart complex property profiles to cellular materials, especially in multi-material compositions, which cannot be achieved with compact materials.

The Expert Committee Cellular Materials sees itself as a cross-material class association of members from industry, non-university institutes, colleges, and universities, which is dedicated to all aspects of the cellular structure of materials, starting with production and functionalization, through characterization, simulation, and modeling, to application-relevant testing.

Scoring with pores. Cellular materials
Cellular materials are characterized by a high proportion of closed or open pores of different shapes and sizes. The combination of such structures with inherent material properties leads to new combinations of properties, which in turn allows completely new applications. Particularly in lightweight construction, but also in mechanical, plant and equipment engineering as well as in energy and environmental technology, the use of cellular materials will lead to groundbreaking innovations in the future.

In the field of heat storage and heat recovery, cellular materials have enormous application potential for all temperature ranges, due to the functional ability of their surface, the adjustability of thermal and electrical conductivity, and a low-pressure drop when flowing through them. For efficient filtration of molten metals, active and reactive ceramic filters with high surface functionality and high-temperature stability are needed. Cellular materials with integrated heat reflectors also promise many possibilities for building insulation. These innovations are associated with a significant reduction in CO2 emissions; new business sectors will develop in Germany as a business location.

Functioning and failure
In order to integrate cellular materials into new applications, the functioning of such materials with complex composite and tailored microstructure must be understood, as well as application-specific boundary and surface design, adhesion, corrosion and failure mechanisms, material behavior under multiaxial stress conditions, or the mechanical properties of auxetic and nano cellular materials. The same applies to those processes that lead to a more homogeneous and reproducible cell structure or generate pores of different size scales in one and the same material. In addition, production processes suitable for near-net-shape manufacturing and for effective and precise machining as well as strategies for the functionalization of cellular materials must be developed, and particle foam technology must be tapped.

To this end, it is necessary to further expand cooperation across material classes and to better network players from science and application. Jointly initiated programs in which the funding of basic research by the DFG or the VW Foundation is coupled with development and transfer programs of the BMBF, the BMWi, or the AiF would be helpful.

Goals

The Cellular Materials Expert Committee has set itself the goal of,

  • to make cellular materials more reliable,
  • to develop and establish novel processes for the production of cellular materials,
  • to better understand the formation and role of porosity in interaction with the material, and to increasingly measure porosity more precisely,
  • to develop functionalization strategies for the construction of multifunctional cellular materials and to describe the interactions between the different components, and
  • as an overriding goal, to use cellular materials to help reduce primary energy consumption in technical processes and increase resource efficiency.

This requires cooperation across material classes, which will lead to the initiation of joint research projects and their successful processing.

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