The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation, Fraunhofer IPA, is a part of the Fraunhofer Society that includes 60 research institutes all over Germany. The Department Process Engineering of Functional Materials (formerly a part of the Fraunhofer TEG) has been specialising in processing of carbon nanoparticles, in particular carbon nanotubes, and development of new applications for these materials since 2000. As the background of the core staff is in mechatronics, the department was initially focused on the development of carbon nanotube actuators where it has also reserved one of the main patents (WO002004030210A1, published on 08.04.2004). Over the years the range of applications has been extended from actuators to carbon nanotube composites, lacquers, polymers, ceramics, and metals.
The main breakthrough for the department came with the development of carbon nanotube dispersions. This expertise is crucial for the production of carbon nanotube and other nanofiller based materials.
The participating members of the Fraunhofer IPA build the Project Management Committee in the following persons:
Urszula Kosidlo – Project Coordinator
Carsten Glanz – Project Manager
Bojan Boskovic – Exploitation Manager