Institute for Particle Technology, TU Braunschweig

The Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT) is focused on current challenges in the fields of particle technology and mechanical process engineering, as well as research, teaching and further education. Founded in 1929 by Professor Stöckmann and handed over to Professor Jörg Schwedes in 1976, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Arno Kwade is the head of the institute since 2005. At present, the institute has more than 80 employees and is constantly growing and expanding. The iPAT is subdivided into five research divisions as well as the organizational division Teaching and Administration, which are also networked in interdisciplinary professional groups.

3D4Space is assigned to the department "Particle Simulation and Functional Structures", which is headed by Prof. Dr. -Ing. Carsten Schilde. Founded in 2017, it is the youngest working group with currently seven employees. The main focus of this research area is on two major interdependent topics. On the one hand, the focus is on the the targeted design of particle interfaces and structures as well as their formulation and further processing into innovative, novel products. Furthermore, the goal is to pursue a quantitative description of the micro- and macroprocesses responsible for the structure formation along the process chain. On the other hand, in order to understand the complex interrelationships during the production and processing of particles on the different size scales, an essential focus of the experimental work is the simulations of particulate processes and products as well as the derivation of mechanistic models. For the description of particulate processes, the main focus is on the Discrete Element Method (DEM), which is coupled to the CFD for the consideration of an additional fluid phase.

As part of the 3D4Space innovation network, the iPAT is working on subproject B which is all about material selection and conditioning for the processing of mineral materials and polymers in space. This includes the reproducible production of a lunar regolith simulant and its provision for all project partners.

Image of a basalt (left) and gabbro particle (right) of the fraction > 1000 μm.


In addition, selected plastic systems are to be reinforced or functionalized by additives and further processed individually in the form of filaments using additive manufacturing technologies. By using fillers and adapting polymer formulations, properties can be adapted locally to optimize the final product. Furthermore, in close cooperation with AG Schmiemann (TP E), recycled polymer composite materials are to be processed into new, innovative products.

Imitated footprint of Neil Armstrong with a 3D-printed model of his shoe on a bed of hand-made Lunar Regolith Simulant.