Functional surfaces

More efficiency in component properties

Finishing processes or downstream structuring processes can modify microstructures of boundary layers and surface profiles, which provides surfaces with specific functions. The focus lies on sliding properties, wetting behavior or biocompatibility of applications in the automotive industry, in tool making and medical engineering. 

  • Pre-conditioning of running surfaces by energy-controlled finishing (TriboMan)
  • Structuring of tool surfaces for optimized friction conditions and demoldability (SMC + sheet metal forming)
  • Microstructured machine tool guides with optimized friction (guide tracks)
  • Structure rolling – a new process for activating surfaces before coating
  • Tribometry at Fraunhofer IWU
  • Structure rolling
  • Tribology
  • Tribology in sheet metal forming

  • Design and optimization of functional surfaces, particularly surfaces of powertrain components under high tribological loads
  • Development of manufacturing technologies, process chains and tools
  • Evaluating the geometry and tribometry of surfaces and components under realistic operating conditions

Application-oriented optimization of functional surfaces

  • Design of surfaces for components with extended functionality regarding optimization of friction and wear conditions, percentage contact areas, wettability, demoldability and biofunctionality

Development of manufacturing technologies for generating functional surfaces

  • Continuous development of technologies for structuring and finishing as well as their integration into process chains for manufacturing functional surfaces
  • Expanding processes for generating specific surface topographies and boundary layers
  • Development of characteristic process values, process design, construction of application-oriented fixtures and tools
  • Feasibility studies, benchmarking, development of manufacturing concepts, optimization of serial processes
  • Investigations on pre-treatment/activation of surfaces for subsequent coating

Evaluating the geometry and tribometry of surfaces and components

  • Geometrical measurements of components using coordinate measuring technology
  • Determination of surface characteristics and topography using tactile and optical metrology
  • REM and EDX investigations for assessing microstructures, element distribution and interfaces
  • Evaluation of friction, wear and run-in behavior of technological surfaces
  • Determining the influence of lubricants, material combinations, surface topographies and boundary layers

Machine technology

  • 5-axis micromachining center Kugler MM3
  • 3-axis high-performance machining center Mikron VCP1000
  • 3-axis micromachining center LPKF XY 10/10 GLP
  • Jig grinding machine MIKROMAT 4S
  • High-precision 3-axis micro EC machining facility
  • PEM Center 8000 (PECM) with XY table
  • Precision micro-EDM machine Sarix SX - 100
  • Laser micro-structuring machine ACSYS ORCAµ
  • ....


  • FEM simulation software COMSOL Multiphysics™
  • Software for surface imaging and analysis MountainsMap6.2®

Testing technology

  • 3D coordinate measuring instrument Zeiss Prismo
  • Confocal microscope
  • White light interferometer, fringe projection system MikroCAD
  • Scanning electron microscope REM VP 1455 with EDX system
  • Rotational tribometers WAZAU TRM 500 and TRM 5000
  • Translational tribometer Optimol SRV5
  • Laser interferometer Renishaw
  • Compact mass spectrometer QMS 220
  • Device for measuring roughness and contour LD 120
  • Measuring system for forms and positions MMQ 200