Interreg-Project n2m (nano to macro)

"Synthesis, characterization and technological manufacturing approaches for "n2m" (nano to macro) lightweight construction"

Contents and Results

Within the framework of the INTERREG project "Synthesis, Characterization and Technological Manufacturing Approaches for Lightweight Construction "n2m" (nano to macro)", a joint cross-border research and development center for lightweight construction was established by the project partners of the Paris Lodron University Salzburg (PLUS) and the University of Applied Sciences in Landshut (HAW). This has made it possible to link basic scientific research at the PLUS with application-oriented research and development at the Lightweight Construction Competence Center of the Landshut University of Applied Sciences (LLK) in the subject area of lightweight construction.

To realize innovative lightweight structures requires a cross-scale approach from material development with the investigation of relevant interfaces and volume properties to the characterization and simulation of material and structural properties as well as the development of suitable production and process technologies. To achieve this goal, the particular challenge of the project was to combine interdisciplinary approaches to thinking and research in the fields of materials chemistry, manufacturing technology, mechanics, materials engineering and analysis. By means of the joint knowledge-based processing of concrete problems in 3 focus modules "Hybrid structures by using T-RTM processes (TeTIHS)", "Laser-based joined light metal structures (LasLei)" and "Notched and formed magnesium sheet structures (MagForm)", such a linkage could be successfully realized.

With the procurement of a transmission electron microscope at PLUS, a laser welding system, a heating press, a vibration polisher and a heat treatment furnace at LLK Landshut, the project significantly expanded the research capabilities of the two facilities. By creating a joint center, the partners brought together there will have cross-border access to the respective facilities. This will ensure research and cooperation in the region even after the project has been completed. Cutting-edge research and long-term collaborations will be sustainably supported and deepened through these activities.

The establishment of the center has already enabled the integration of additional new partners in the region and beyond (TU Bergakademie Freiberg, FH Kuchl, PLUS - Center for Human Computer Interaction, University of Magdeburg, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, LKR Ranshofen, TU Munich). In addition, 6 follow-up projects were approved by the end of the project period, resulting in 11 full-time scientific positions. Among others, a DACH application jointly submitted by PLUS and LLK to the Austrian Science Fund (FWF, Lead Agency) and the German Research Foundation (DFG) was approved, from which 2 additional scientific full-time positions will be created.

The Bavarian-Austrian research and development center makes the two university locations of Landshut and Salzburg more attractive for students and researchers. Project work and final theses, internships, workshops and cooperative doctorates are possible on a cross-border basis. This cross-border partnership is already bearing fruit. 

One doctorate carried out in cooperation dealt with the characterization and modeling of magnesium in order to be able to use it in industry. Magnesium is one of the lightest metallic construction materials, which poses great challenges to product development and manufacturing due to its complex microstructure (hexagonal close-packed crystal structure). By characterizing and modeling the fatigue behavior, the material becomes predictable, a basic requirement for industrially exploiting the high lightweight potential of magnesium. This doctoral thesis was supervised by Prof. Dr. Otto Huber from Landshut University of Applied Sciences and Prof. Dr. Oliver Diwald from the University of Salzburg.

Also successfully completed within the framework of the n2m project was a dissertation supervised by Prof. Dr. Holger Saage, professor at the LLK of Landshut University of Applied Sciences, and Prof. Dr. Mathias Göken, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. This dealt with the corrosive and thermo-mechanical behavior of intermetallic titanium-aluminum compounds. Compounds that are very light and suitable for use at high temperatures and thus find application in turbine blades, for example. 

Furthermore, a third doctoral thesis, currently under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Hubert Klaus, also a professor at LLK, and Prof. Dr. Nicola Hüsing, University of Salzburg, is currently working on a recyclable thermoplastic material composite. Novel sandwich structures with a core made of a polyamide 6 matrix structure and embedded granules made of recycled glass as well as glass-fiber-reinforced cover layers promise a wide range of applications, such as in skateboards or vehicle bodies. At the same time, it should be possible to separate and reuse them by melting the components.  

Within the framework of the n2m project, 5 joint articles have been published in international peer-reviewed journals on n2m topics 12345. 2 of 3 cooperative PhD projects have already been successfully completed 67. The project has been presented at scientific conferences, cross-border meetings and workshops. For example, at the 9th Landshut Lightweight Design Colloquium, Feb. 27/28, 2019, entitled "Lightweight Design in Research and Industrial Application from the Nano to the Macro Level", the n2m project contributed 5 technical papers and 5 conference proceedings, an n2m booth and laboratory tours. In addition, intensive presentation activities for students, the public, research institutions and companies took place.


Data and Facts


Project name

Synthesis, characterization and technological manufacturing approaches for lightweight construction "n2m" (nano to macro)

Technology field

Operational strength, cyclic strength, mechanical properties, cellular composites, multi-curved sandwich elements, T-RTM fabrication, lightweight materials, wrought magnesium alloys, high-temperature materials, additive laser cladding, numerical simulation

Project duration6 years (09.2015 bis 07.2021)
Project volumeProject sum HAW Landshut           1,5 Mio Euro
Project sum PLUS Salzburg           1,6 Mio Euro
Total project sum                            3,1 Mio Euro
FundingEuropean Union - European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE), 85% (2,6 Mio Euro) co-financed by INTERREG Austria-Bavaria
Scientific staffM.Sc. Susan Montes (PLUS), Lawrence Whitmore, Ph.D. (PLUS), Dr.-techn. Gregor Zickler (PLUS), Dr.-techn. Josef Denk (LLK), M.Eng. Alexander Fischer (LLK), Dr.-Ing. Christian Löffl (LLK), M.Eng. Anton Nischler (LLK), M.Eng. Eva Kollmannsberger (LLK) M.Sc. Christina Pritscher (LLK), M.Eng. Christoph Stangl (LLK)

Overall Project Management  HAW LandshutUniv.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nicola Hüsing (PLUS)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Otto Huber (LLK)
Researching Professor(s)Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nicola Hüsing (PLUS), Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Oliver Diwald, Assist.-Prof. Dr. Gilles Bourret, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Babel, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Walter Fischer, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Otto Huber, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hubert Klaus, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Saage



Overview of new equipment purchases

Literature (excerpt)

1 J. Denk, A. Nischler, L.C. Whitmore, O. Huber, H. Saage, Discontinuous and inhomogeneous strain distributions under monotonic and cyclic loading in textured wrought magnesium alloys, Mater. Sci. Eng. A, 764, 138182, 2019; 

2 L.C. Whitmore, J. Denk, G.A. Zickler, G.R. Bourret, O. Huber, O. Diwald, N. Huesing, Macro to nano: a microscopy study of a wrought magnesium alloy after deformation, Eur. J. Phys., 40, p. 1-24, 2019;

3 L.C. Whitmore, J. Denk, G.A. Zickler, G.R. Bourret, O. Huber, H. Saage, O. Diwald, N. Huesing, Microstructural investigation of twin-roll cast magnesium AZ31B subjected to a single monotonic compressive stress, J. Alloys Compd., 789,  p. 1022-1034, 2019;

4 C. Löffl, H. Saage, M. Göken, In situ X-ray tomography investigation of the crack formation in an intermetallic beta-stabilized TiAl-alloy, Int. J. Fatigue, 124, p. 138-148, 2019;

5 J. Denk, L.C. Whitmore, O. Huber, O. Diwald, H. Saage, Concept of the highly strained volume for fatigue modeling of magnesium alloys, Int. J. of Fatigue, 117, p. 283-291, 2018;

6 J. Denk, Model for the Fatigue Behavior of Wrought Magnesium Structures Based on Mechanical and Microstructural Characterization, Dissertation, Paris Lodron University Salzburg, 2019, ISBN: 978-3-9818439-2-7, urn:nbn:de:bvb:860-opus4-1851;

7 C. Löffl, Experimentelle und analytische Untersuchung des Schädigungsverhaltens einer TiAl-Legierung durch mechanische, korrosive und thermische Beanspruchung, Dissertation, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 2020, urn:nbn:de:bvb:29-opus4-132433;