Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures

Top-level research for international visibility and performance

Welcome to Germany's first and only Federal Cluster of Excellence in the field of lightweight structures. Lightweight construction is a key technology of the future. Wherever masses have to be moved, the optimization of weight is a main focus in order to save raw materials and energy. Thus, it is the aim of the Cluster's research to merge basic technologies suitable for mass-production, comprising plastic, metal, textile and Smart Systems for the development of resource-efficient products and production processes. More than 100 researchers and technicians from a total of six interacting research domains are currently working on the implementation of this project, which is funded by the DFG with 31 million Euros in the period 1st November 2012 to 31st October 2017.


New Employee for IT

Since 1st August 2015, Rico Kritz has been supporting the team at the office in the field of software development and IT. As a trained IT specialist for application development, he has mainly worked as a  software developer for browser-based applications in the industrial sector.

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MERGE @ ICCE-23 2015

The “23rd Annual International Conference on Composites/Nano Engineering”, with a total of 560 scientific lectures, was held at the Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China from 12 to 18 July 2015. The ICCE-23 is an interdisciplinary engineering conference that brings together numerous researchers from different research areas in the field of composites. During this year’s event with up to five specific sessions, international scientists discussed new technologies and research topics in the field of Composites / Nano Engineering.

Alexander Hackert, a researcher at the Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE presented as session chair the results of the work in the action field IRD-C1 with its contribution “Hybrid Sandwich Composites (HSC) with Porous Aluminum Core and Thermoplastic Fiber-Reinforced Composite Top Layers”. The focus was laid on the new technologies for the production of hybrid core composites and their production-ready application. Such multi-material construction methods are especially in the automotive lightweight construction of high interest, whereby the combination of thermoplastic fibre-reinforced composites with metal displays a special lightweight potential. The combination as a core composite in hybrid and composite construction was examined first on its suitability for series production and thereby verified as sandwich structure in large-scale production by a graded structure and a new manufacturing technology.

In another session, the scientists of the Department of Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology, Colin Gerstenberger as session chair and Tomasz Osiecki, presented their current research work in the lectures “Load Adjusted Fiber Reinforced Polymer/Metal Joints In Cathodic Dip Paint Conditions” and “Thermoplastic Fiber Reinforced/Metal Hybrid Laminates for Structural Lightweight Applications”. The contents of the three lectures and the results of the investigations are also published in the international Elsevier Journal “Composites Part B: Engineering”.

Moreover, the participation in the ICCE-23 also provided the opportunity for scientific exchange with international scientists and with the Conference Chair and Director of the “Composite Material Research Laboratory” at the University of New Orleans, Professor David Hui and the Dean of the Roy G. Perry College of Engineering at the Praire View A&M University (Texas), Professor Kendall T. Harris. Thereby the prospects of an international cooperation in the field of science and teaching were discussed.

The visit and a tour of the “College of Mechanical Engineering” at the “Southwest Jiaotong University”, one of the oldest top universities in China, rounded off the stay in Chengdu, offering scientists a glimpse of university life in the Chinese metropolis.

Weitere Einträge zu: International Conference on Composites/Nano EngineChinaIRD CInternational
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International Workshop on Biocomposites in Bangkok

The cooperation between the Technische Universität Chemnitz and the King Mongkut‘s University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUTNB) exists for almost ten years now and serves mainly the training and exchange of scientists, lecturers and students, particularly in the field of engineering sciences. From July 13th to 15th representatives of the TU Chemnitz were hosted by the Sirindhorn International Thai German Graduate School of Engineering (TGGS), an institution of the King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUTNB).

As part of the jointly organised Thai-German Workshop “Natural Fiber Plastic Composites for Automotive Applications” the MERGE management board presented along with scientists from the field of biocomposites new technologies and developments in the field of fibre-plastic composites made from renewable resources. The MERGE representatives were accompanied by the Vice President of Krauss Maffei Group China and the Chairman of the MERGE Industrial Advisory Board, Georg P. Holzinger. Prof. Marek Tukiendorf, Member of the Excellence Council, also accompanied the delegation. Around 100 participants, including about 80 industrial representatives, attended the workshop. Overall, the event was very successful, thanks to the audience intensive discussions led to further collaborations. The scientific exchange was another focus of the workshop. For example, an intermediary review of a jointly supervised doctorate took place.

In the following days various regional businesses were visited. For example, the company Cobra International Co. Ltd., a large processor of carbon fibres for applications in surfboards, wind boards, stand-up boards as well as carbon automotive parts in the field of vision.

A continuation of the Thai-German Workshop next year was already confirmed by the invitation of the President of the KMUTNB, Prof. Teravuti Boonyasopon.

Weitere Einträge zu: InternationalBangkokKMUTNBThai-German WorkshopNatural Fiber-Plastic Compositesthailand
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Appointment to Associated Professor

On 26th May 2015, PD Dr.-Ing. habil. Daisy Nestler, Head of Department at the Professorship of Composite Materials and Head of the action field IRD A of the Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE, was appointed to associate professor. The rector of the TU Chemnitz, Prof. Arnold van Zyl, acknowledged thereby her merits in the field of composites and composite materials as well as her outstanding commitment in teaching. With over 120 publications, Prof. Nestler has made scientific contributions to metal, ceramic and polymer matrix composites and composite materials.

Prof. Nestler studied Materials Engineering and Materials Science at the TU BA Freiberg and the TU Chemnitz and received her doctorate degree (Dr.-Ing.) in the field of CVD-Boriding of Steels in 1988. She has been a research assistant and Head of the Department for Composite Materials / Material Composites at the Professorship of Composite Materials at the Institute of Materials Science and Materials Technology of the TU Chemnitz since 1st October 2006. In 2012 she successfully completed her habilitation on the topic of “Contribution to the Subject of Composites – Material Compounds - Status quo and Research Approaches”. Her habilitation sets the basis for a methodological and organisational realignment of composites. Prof. Nestler developed new systematisation, structuring and overviews. Assignments of established and new technologies contribute to the stability of the terminology “Hybrid Construction” and “Hybrid Composite”. It also outlines areas of activity of future research and development projects that lead to material concepts and current key topics of metal, ceramic and polymer matrix composites and hybrid composites. The hybrid composites are worth highlighting as a potential supporting pillar of future developments in lightweight construction, taking a key role in the large-scale, cost-efficient and resource-conserving production.

Prof. Nestler is also a TP applicant in the SFB 692 “HALS” and the group leader of the working group “Aluminum Matrix Composites”. She has submitted numerous DFG and joint applications and plays a leading role at the Professorship of Composite Materials due to her expertise.

Prof. Nestler will continue to contribute with all her strength not only in the central research topics of the TU Chemnitz and research on the multi-functional  performance of large-scale lightweight structures, but also to act as an elected Senator of the non-professorial teaching staff.

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Award for Outstanding New Measurement Method

Having his or her own work acknowledged by a group of experts represents a very special distinction for every scientist. Maik Trautmann from the Professorship of Composite Materials of the TU Chemnitz experienced this honour. At the 20th Symposium for Composites and Material Compounds in Vienna, he was awarded the prize for the best poster presentation. Trautmann is a research assistant at the Federal Cluster of Excellence “Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures” (MERGE) in action field A.

An expert jury selected Trautmann's work on an innovative new measurement method of the surface roughness of circular reinforcing fibres from 47 poster contributions and honoured it with the 1st prize. The method presented in the poster is based on a digital analysis in the micrometre range on the basis of fibre cross-sections captured through electron microscopy. In this way, various reinforcing fibre geometries and the influence of fibre pretreatment processes and coatings can be compared with high accuracy. At the meeting, Trautmann also presented results on novel hybrid sandwich structures consisting of an aluminum foam core with cover layers of thermoplastic hybrid laminates (CAPAAL).

A total of eight employees of the Cluster of Excellence MERGE attended the three-day symposium and presented their research on multifunctional hybrid lightweight structures. All contributions are published in the conference transcript at

(Author: Dr. Thomas Grund)


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