Research, Development and Innovation (more)

Processing technologies of KMM materials

KMM-VIN members have extensive experience and own specialised infrastructure to manufacture advanced structural and functional KMM materials through, e.g.:

  • Powder metallurgy: hot pressing (HP), hot isostatic pressing (HIP), gas atomization+ HIP, spark plasma sintering (SPS)
  • Powder spraying
  • Pressure assisted and pressureless infiltration techniques for interpenetrating phase composites
  • Self-propagating high temperature synthesis (SHS)
  • Injection and micro-injection of ceramic and metal powders (powder injection moulding, PIM)
  • High pressure die casting
  • Plasma CVD for coatings, plasma treatments
  • PVD-magnetron sputtering for metals, alloys and hard coatings
  • Flame spraying, HVOF
  • Plasma etching system
  • Wet-chemical coating systems
  • Ion implantation
  • Laser stereolithography for additive rapid prototyping
  • Microfusion for metallic alloys
  • Sol-gel processes
  • Electrodeposition, electroless deposition
  • De-alloying, nanostructuring
  • Small scale melting and remelting
  • Hot and cold rolling

Modelling of materials’ microstructure, properties and performance

KMM-VIN members have considerable expertise in modelling of:

  • microstructure by optimisation methods to arrive at required material properties
  • materials microstructure (design) by CAD-CAE approaches
  • materials by FEM based on real microstructure (micro-CT, EBSD, SEM)
  • effective thermoelastic and transport properties using effective continua/field methods and multiscale approaches with advanced numerical simulations
  • microcracking during processing through numerical simulations of the micro-CT images of real microstructures
  • recrystallization, grain growth, precipitation kinetics, 3-D structure modelling
  • forging
  • welding

KMM-VIN can provide chemical compositions, phase compositions and structural models to arrive at targeted values of physical, chemical and mechanical properties of KMM materials. The end products are, for instance, models of advanced bulk composites or FGMs with specified volume fractions of the constituent phases, the shape, the size and the distribution of the reinforcing phase, which may be particles, fibers or interpenetrating networks. For functionally graded composites the respective structural profile can be designed with number of layers, their thickness and mutual locations uniquely specified.

KMM-VIN modelling of materials performance under real working conditions includes:

  • novel constitutive and numerical modelling of deformation response
  • material models based on atomistic, micro-mechanical, phenomenological or statistical concepts
  • artificial neural networks for modelling the behaviour of complex multifunctional materials
  • stress and heat flow analyses
  • models of damage (brittle, ductile) and wear development
  • modelling of oxidation and corrosion in chemically aggressive environment
  • models of ultimate failure modes in structural elements
  • models of fatigue of graded systems under cyclic thermal and mechanical loads
  • lifetime predictions for advanced materials under service conditions (e.g. high temperature)
  • simulation of layer delamination and cracking via cohesive zone models
  • computational modelling of residual stresses by nonlinear finite elements and 3D images of the material microstructure by micro-CT
  • FEM-diffusion creep, dislocation creep, creep strength
  • models for simulating join connections
  • models of transport phenomena
  • models for simulating manufacturing processes: powder pouring, die pressing, drying, debinding, sintering, rolling, forming, welding, separating

Characterization of materials' properties and performance

physico-chemical characterization, e.g.:

  • RFA, wet-chemical analysis
  • dynamic differential calorimetry
  • optical emission spectroscopy
  • GPC chromatography

materials macro-, micro- and nanostructure, e.g.:

  • measurements of zeta potential; viscosity; pore size distribution
  • metallography

materials physical and mechanical properties, e.g.:

  • density, thermal expansion, conductivity
  • internal friction, interfacial shear strength (push in and pull out tests)
  • elastic moduli, micro- and nano-hardness
  • (hot) tensile-, impact- and bending strength
  • fracture toughness and other fracture parameters (static and dynamic)
  • NDT of materials properties and damage
  • resistance to high temperatures and thermal shocks
  • resistance to chemically aggressive environments
  • resistance to wear
  • resistance to corrosion
  • resistance to oxidation
  • resistance to erosion
  • creep and stress rupture testing in RT and elevated temperatures
  • lifetime fatigue testing in bending, tension, or compression (RT and high temperatures, in different media)
  • creep-fatigue crack growth testing

Life-cycle and risk analysis of KMM materials

analysis of the contribution of the life cycle stages to the overall environmental load to prioritize improvements on products or processes comparison between products for internal or external communications.

The LCA consist of four main steps:

  • defining the goal and scope of the study
  • making a model of the product life cycle with all the environmental inflows and outflows (life cycle inventory, LCI stage)
  • understanding the environmental relevance of all the inflows and outflows (life cycle impact assessment, LCIA stage)
  • interpretation of the results

Multiple aspects can be analyzed of risks, risk engineering and risk management appearing in:

  • structural and advanced materials technologies
  • power plants and energy supply
  • petro-chemical and process plants

Main aspects of risks dealt with in KMM-VIN include:

  • risks in/of innovation (e.g. risks of unexpected side-effects)
  • risk of non-performance or performance below expectations (e.g. risks of system or component failures)
  • risk of adverse/unexpected effects and impacts (e.g. on public health and/or environment)
  • risks over the life-cycle of products and technologies (e.g. unexpected problems in decommissioning or recycling phase)
  • project risks, especially in innovation, R&D and new technologies oriented projects


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