Digitization of materials for better products and processes

Industrial production and modern information technology are being combined in the context of Industry 4.0 with the aim of optimizing value creation chains and component functions. This requires relevant material properties that change with location and time to be taken into account in individual process stages. The challenge: the data is very heterogeneous and must be derived from inline sensors or indirectly from a large number of material experiments and process simulations.

The aim of the MaterialDigital project of the state of Baden-Württemberg under the leadership of the Fraunhofer IWM is to ensure that the materials being processed are part of the continuous digital value creation chain. A materials data space has been set up for digital mapping of process and material history. In addition to pure management of the data in the knowledge graphs, the Fraunhofer IWM is developing interfaces for data entry and output and search tools that are as generic as possible. An ontology for cast aluminum materials - likewise as generic as possible - is also being drawn up. The Fraunhofer IWM is feeding sensor data from a casting and heat treatment process for an AlSi10Mg alloy being measured by the institutes involved into the new materials data space.

The Fraunhofer IWM is supporting test specimen development with structural mechanical calculations and investigations. At selected points in the casting and heat treatment process chain, the Fraunhofer IWM generates digital material twins of the test specimens from the material data space: these describe, in particular, the material state at critical points that have been defined in advance. A process control system that can be used in-line is also being developed that makes it possible to obtain information about the local casting structure (and the casting defects contained within).