Research projects

Government funded projects

MATFEM have participated in research projects that are promoted and partly funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany. In these projects, universities, research facilities and the industry work together.

These projects are an opportunity to integrate recent findings into our own developments, especially into the material models.

There are no ongoing projects.

Past projects

Research Project: LaserLeichter

From 2015 to 2018, MATFEM participated in the LaserLeichter project on the development of laser-based joining technologies for heterogeneous light-weight designs; it ran from 2015 to 2018.

The Project “LaserLeichter” addressed the need for mixed designs using hetero­geneous light-weight materials by investigating innovative joining technologies for heterogeneous metal-metal and metal-plastic connections which can be applied for large scale industrial production. Together with required associated technologies for tooling and monitoring, the joining concepts are to be developed with a view to series production.

MATFEM’s task in the project was to simulate heterogeneous joints in detail using FEM (meso-models). Experimental and virtual trials were be used to derive macro-models, which should allow the stiffness and failure behaviour of the heterogeneous connections to be simulated with acceptable accuracy for crash simulations under industrial conditions. The basis for the material description is the material model MF GenYld + CrachFEM, which is developed by MATFEM.

The collaborative research project “LaserLeichter” was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the funding initiative “Photonic Methods and Tools for Resource-Efficient Light-Weight Design”. Project supervision was provided by VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH.

Research Project UltraCaulk

From 2014 to 2017, MATFEM participated in the UltraCaulk project on ultrasonically assisted forming and caulking.

The goal of the research project is the development of a novel hybrid manufacturing technique for forming and caulking components from materials, which previously were difficult or impossible to form. Steel and cast aluminium grades are here the major focus. Besides extending the material spectrum, the process forces and the associated component loading during caulking are to be reduced by superimposed ultrasonic vibration. The positive effects of superimposed ultrasound make it possible to overcome previous limits of the forming method, to design process chains more effectively and to manufacture new products with improved functionality. Significant cost savings are additionally possible through reduced material use as well as the replacement of previously applied expensive forming and joining processes, e.g. milling or laser-welding.

MATFEM’s part in the project was to develop a constitutive model for representing plasticity of metals with superimposed ultrasonic vibration and integrate it into the user material modell MF GenYld + CrachFEM. Further activities concern improved modelling of friction between tool and work piece with ultrasonic excitation.

The collaborative research project UltraCaulk was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework concept “Research for the Production of Tomorrow”. Project supervision was provided by the project administrator Karlsruhe – Produktion und Fertigungstechnologien (PTKA-PFT).


From 2006 to 2010, MATFEM was a partner in the European-Union funded project NADIA. In this project, methods for the CAE-based design of automotive parts made from cast light alloys were developed. These methods were to be applied throughout the life cycle of the part – from casting, solidification and heat treatment to in-service loads of the final part – in the evaluation and iterative optimisation of the part’s design. These methods involve the further development of simulation methods and the data exchange between them as well as the creation of models that predict the macroscopic material behaviour based on the properties of the local microstructure after casting.

Nadia Project

MATFEM took part in two of the work packages of this project: We developed material models and simulation techniques to model cast parts in the body-in-white structure under crash loads and to model cast parts in the combustion engine under thermo-mechanical fatigue. Both methods account for the local material properties that result from the casting process.

Further information:

  • NADIA Project
    New automotive components designed for and manufactured by intelligent processing of light alloys – official homepage