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Cluster New Materials

Cluster New Materials

Where does metal attain only a fraction of its normal weight? Where do pioneering innovative materials and processing, as well as the first self-cooling beer barrel in the world come from? Where is the "Silicon Valley of Materials Research" situated?

Tens of thousands of employees in the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region work today in the fields of new materials and processing technology. This quite young branch of technology boasts a rapid growth rate. One of the areas the Northern Bavarian Center of Competence for New Materials is engaged in the development of innovative materials and processes for the manufacture of lightweight components out of metal, plastic or composite material for transportation and mechanical engineering. The center of competence is an association of firms based mainly in Bayreuth, Fürth and Würzburg.

The firm "New Materials Fürth" (NMF) in Nuremberg's neighboring city is housed in the Technikum Center. The company builds on the know-how of various professorial chairs at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, which is considered to be Germany's largest center for research into and development of new materials. NMF's main emphasis is on lightweight construction, multifunctionality and simulation, and uses mainly metal alloys and plastics. Processes that have hitherto been tested only in the laboratory are employed for the first time in the production of prototypes and small series. Thus the research factory functions as the interface between science and industry, and promotes technology transfer. One of the innovative materials from Fürth is, for example, foamed metal, which is extremely light and whose cellular structure lends itself very well to crash absorption.

The Fürth Technikum houses not only the NMF but also Germany's biggest ultrafine focus x-ray center with a wide range of equipment for non-destructive materials testing, as well as the Inter-Faculty Central Institute for New Materials and Processing Technology of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Injection molding on a carbon base - amongst other things - is being developed here.

There are even more centers of competence in the field of new materials in the Metropolitan Region. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research in Würzburg develops innovative materials for energy, airplane, space, micro-systems, medical and bioengineering technology, as well as for the functionalizing of surfaces. Situated in Lauf at the Pegnitz, the "ZWL Center for Materials Analysis Lauf" focuses especially on technical ceramics. The "Plastics Competence Network of Western Central Franconia" has been established in and around Ansbach, and one of the main areas of research at the Ansbach College of Applied Sciences is materials technology. Research institutions like the ATZ Development Center in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, the Bavarian Automobile College of Technology in Hof and the Laser Center of Bavaria in Erlangen are also engaged in applied materials research.

The "Competence Initiative for New Materials in the Nuremberg Region" (KINEMA for short) has been set up at the Nuremberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and in the city of Fürth. The Chamber operates two user clubs, namely "New Materials" and "Non-Destructive Materials Testing".

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