The research activities of the Institute of Forming Technology and Lightweight Components comprise the development of new forming processes and process chains as well as the extension of existing production processes. Key objectives are the achievement of a physical process description, the configuration and improvement of component properties, and a holistic approach of the process efficiency. The primarily fundamental questions are supplemented by aspects of applied research to ensure the quickest possible transfer of research results to industrial practice. These topics represent the institute’s current research objectives:
- flexible manufacturing processes,
- hybrid components and hybrid processes,
- locally graded properties,
- extension of forming limits,
- material characterization/modeling
- research for engineering education and
- sustainable production techniques (recycling).
35 scientists, who are supported by 12 technicians and administrative staff members, and approximately 50 student assistants work on the institute’s research projects. Especially as regards interdisciplinary research issues, the projects are often processed with national and international partners. The participation in two “Collaborative Research Centres”, TRR 188 (spokesperson) and TRR 73 (local spokesperson), and in the two “Priority Programmes”, SPP 1640 und SPP 2013, express this intensive networking. Besides the four departments “Applied Mechanics in Forming Technologies”, “Bulk Metal Forming”, “Profile and Sheet Metal Forming”, and “Non-Conventional Processes” the institute structure (see figure) covers three inter-divisional units: “Research Center for Industrial Metal Processing” (ReCIMP), “Research Group on Additive Technology” (ReGAT), and “Excellent Teaching and Learning in Engineering Science” (ELLI 2). In the following, the department-specific research objectives and research projects are presented.