KIT Engineers Continue to Develop MicroArchitecture

Jens Bauer from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology presents his microarchitecture materials and discusses possible applications.

Jens Bauer is looking for new materials for components. He says that the current materials available are either strong and heavy, or light and weak. In his Solve for X Talk Low density yet high strength by nanoscale structural design, Bauer shows some of his work and discusses future uses of the technology.

Heavy and weak materials are not an attractive set of material characteristics to work toward, but Bauer believes that light and strong materials are a great possibility for building brighter future components. Showing a chart of Density vs Modulus, Jens tells us that materials with density less than that of water are usually porous. The porosity does not have a pattern and the pores exist randomly throughout the materials.

During the demonstration he crushes a piece of paper to demonstrate a material with random porosity and its lack of strength. Showing a preconstructed honeycomb structure built from a different piece of paper excellent compressive strength is shown as he stands upon the honeycomb. Bone structure, where the dominant architecture stretches the elements within it, is used as the example of a natural material that we can mimic.

Bauer’s new materials combine architecture and size effect innovations to build lattices on a nanometer scale. The microarchitecture is optimized to build structures at small scale and take advantage of the size effect on large scale materials. A pulsed laser beam is directed at a liquid photoresist material to build the nano lattices, and atomic layer deposition is used to create ceramic and composite structures.

We’ve covered Jens Bauer and his structures before at but this long form update gives great insight into the process of creating his materials, and the progress that has been made in the last two years. Thermal management, electronics, sensors, injection fluids, and filtration fluids are the industries that Bauer is targeting to gain the most benefit from the project. The ultimate goal would be putting the materials into aerospace, aviation, automotive or medical applications.