The merge of material and function
Smart Materials is a topic much talked about and promise to solve the disparity in matrix and functionality in future. They are able to assume sensory tasks for instance for data detection and signal processing or to respond to certain impulses as actuators. Or they take over electronic functions such as heat regulation or illumination. In short: Structural and functional materials become one. More functionalities integrated in one matrix opens up completely new vistas in product design and at the same time reduces complexity, weight and mass of materials and products.
Smart Materials represents an established focus of research in the department "Functional layer systems". In principle, conductive layers or structures are prepared, which are integrated into a composite material using coating technologies. Likewise, flexible, multi-functional materials are produced such as:
Electrically heatable polymer surfaces
Polymer surfaces with integrated LED illumination
Printed, flexible electronics
Currently, these Smart Materials are close to commercial breakthrough and has diverse scopes of application – from health care to climate protection, from power generation to production engineering, from lifestyle to mobility.