The development of programmable materials could transform our use of materials. A single material can replace complete systems comprising sensors, controllers and actuators. The aim of the Fraunhofer Research Cluster Programmable Materials is to reduce the complexity of systems and the consumption of resources by integrating functions into the material.
The Fraunhofer Cluster develops materials or material systems whose internal structure is designed and manufactured in such a way that the material properties in the component can be selectively modified or even reversed. In this way, novel complex and locally distinct functions can be implemented. The vision of the Cluster is to systematically advance the possibility of local designability of materials and their properties and to utilize them in component development.
The focus is on the following key areas: programmable transport properties (material and heat transport), mechanically programmable materials (mechanical and tribo properties), manufacturing and scaling, product development.