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Collaborative research centre „Oxygen-free production“ to be funded for another four years

Collaborative research centre „Oxygen-free production“ to be funded for another four years

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved the second funding period of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1368 "Oxygen-free Production", which has been in existence since 2020, and is funding the project from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2027 with around 10.5 million euros. The researchers at the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools (IFW) at Leibniz University Hannover are looking forward to continuing their excellent research with two projects in the CRC.

As part of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1368 "Oxygen-free production - processes and interaction zones in an oxygen-free atmosphere for the development of sustainable production technologies and manufacturing processes", scientists from Leibniz University Hannover, Clausthal University of Technology, the Data Management in Mechanical Engineering Group (DMB) at Paderborn University and the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) have been very successfully researching innovative technologies for oxygen-free production since 2020. The aim is to gain a holistic understanding of the processes involved in oxygen-free production and thus enable a transfer to industrial practice.

"With oxygen-free production, we have opened up a completely new field of research over the last four years and shown that we can expand existing production processes with new possibilities, significantly increase the performance of the products produced and also enable completely new processes," says Professor Dr.-Ing. Hans Jürgen Maier, spokesperson for the CRC.

Currently, production processes in the metalworking industry are predominantly carried out in the presence of oxygen. The resulting unavoidable oxidation of metal surfaces is a significant disruptive factor in the production process. In contrast, the realisation of production in an oxygen-free atmosphere has the potential to achieve considerable progress in technical, economic and resource-saving terms.

In the first funding period, the effects of a complete absence of oxygen in various production processes were analysed. It was found that in the great majority of the processes analysed, the effects of the absence of oxygen did not just result in minor improvements, but actually triggered the expected significant advances in the technologies. Building on this excellent starting position, a consistent further development of the research programme is being aimed for in the second funding period.

In the sub-projects „Machining“ and „Cooling concepts for Grinding“, scientists are investigating how the absence of oxygen affects the machining process. They are investigating the mechanisms of interaction, e.g. the local contact and friction conditions, during machining in an oxygen-free atmosphere. In this way, the considerable potential for maximising cutting performance depending on the tool-material pairing can be exploited. In addition of understanding the relationships between the cutting atmosphere and process variables, the scientists want to use innovative research approaches to analyse in depth the influence of oxygen-free conditions on the resulting surface and subsurface properties. The resulting knowledge will finally be used to develop empirical-analytical modelling approaches with regard to the individual mechanisms of interaction during machining in an oxygen-free atmosphere and the resulting tool wear as well as component properties.



For further information, please contact Vannila Prasanthan, Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools at Leibniz Universität Hannover, on +49 511 762 19091 or by e-mail (