Award of the Austrian Ceramic Society

Dipl.-Ing. Maximilian Staudacher, PhD student at the Chair of Structural and Functional Ceramics, won the 1st prize in the student speech competition at the 9th General Assembly of the Austrian Ceramic Society (AuCerS) on March 29, 2021. With his presentation: 'The Ball-on-Three-Balls-Test: Comparison with the Ring-on-Ring-Test for Ceramics', he qualified for participation in the international student speech competition of the European Ceramic Society (ECerS). This is to be held as part of the 17th ECerS conference from August 29 to September 2, 2021 in Dresden.

Congratulations to Dipl.-Ing. Maximilian Staudacher on this success!

ISFK goes 3D

3D printer for the production of ceramic materials at the ISFK.

New functionalities usually require the combination of different materials, or material classes (e.g. metal, polymer, ceramic), which are very difficult to process together due to their different thermo-physical properties. In particular, the realization of components with complex geometries represents a major challenge. Only the development of "additive manufacturing processes" such as stereolithography enables the processing of different material combinations for the production of complex components.

With the acquisition of a 3D printer CeraFab 7500 (company Lithoz GmbH), manufactured in Austria, the production of complex, stable and high-resolution 3D objects from different materials is made possible. This includes different ceramics, but also filled and unfilled polymers and generally high viscosity formulations, which makes it suitable for use in other research areas and groups (e.g. ceramics, metal or material combinations).

The modelling, fabrication and characterization of functional components made of different materials represent key strategic goals of the professorship "Advanced Ceramics and Micro-electronic Systems" at our Chair of Structural and Functional Ceramics, which will now be strengthened with the 3D printer system.

New Project: COMET-Modul „LEC HybTec“, MT03.2-Ceramic Spark Plug Electrod


  • Project duration: July 1, 2020 - December 1, 2023
  • Partners: LEC GmbH, Chair of Structural and Functional Ceramics, INNIO Jenbacher GmbH & Co OG


The conventional materials for spark plug electrodes used in large gas engines are now reaching their limits in terms of resilience. The aim of the project is to identify possible ceramic materials to serve as replacements for the conventional electrode materials. In a first step, possible damage mechanisms will be identified by damage analyses on failed spark plugs or electrodes. Extensive literature studies should identify potentially suitable ceramic materials that can be used as electrode materials. The use of these materials is intended to increase the wear resistance as well as the mechanical and thermophysical (i.e. thermal shock resistance) properties of the electrodes and consequently the service life of the spark plugs.

The damage analyses and the determination of the mechanical and thermal properties are carried out at the Chair of Structural and Functional Ceramics. Prototypes are manufactured with the selected materials at INNIO Jenbacher. Experimental investigations on the spark plug test bench as well as the application in the engine will be carried out at LEC in Graz.

The project is being carried out under the direction of LEC GmbH, which is the leading research institution in the field of combustion technologies for large engines in Austria.


Characterization of real mechanical properties of ceramic AM components - CharAM


With a new cooperative research project on the characterization of additively manufactured ceramics, the Chair of Structural and Functional Ceramics at the University of Leoben will strengthen its activities related to this new manufacturing technology.

Tape caster for the production of ceramic laminates in operation

Recent work at the Chair of Structural and Functional Ceramics (ISFK) deals with the design and fabrication of laminates or multilayer components as they are used in microelectronics. In laminates, internal stresses can be adjusted by combining layers of different materials in such a way that cracks originating from the surface are stopped just below the surface. This can guarantee a minimum value for the bending strength of the laminate, which can be very high (several hundred MPa). The laminate behaves as if it had many times the fracture toughness of its individual layer materials. In this field, it is intended to start the development and fabrication of bio-inspired structures with high reliability. Therefore, a laboratory is currently being set up in which the internal structure of ceramic components can be adjusted by means of tape casting in such a way that structural and functional properties can be specifically improved. A tape caster was installed in May, and the first foils (with a thickness of approx. 50µm) were already drawn.

Most-read publication in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society

The paper "Understanding the effect of surface flaws on the strength distribution of brittle single crystals", authored by M. Gruber, A. Leitner, I. Kraleva, D. Kiener, P. Supancic, and R. Bermejo, was recognized as one of the most-read publications in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society from January 2018 to December 2019. The collaboration between the chairs of Structural and Functional Ceramics and Materials Physics in a COMET project conducted at the Materials Center Leoben was dedicated to understand the influence of surface properties on the mechanical reliability of piezoelectric materials used as frequency filters in the new 5G communication technology. Congratulations to Dr. M. Gruber and the project team on this important success.

Award of the Austrian Ceramic Society

On the occasion of the 8th General Assembly of the Austrian Ceramic Society on 06.02.2020 in Graz, Ms. Anna-Katharina Hofer was awarded the 1st prize in the category "Master's Theses" for her thesis "Processing and characterization of textured ceramic layered architectures".

The core topic of the awarded thesis was the production and characterization of novel multi-layered ceramic architectures with (bio-inspired) adjusted microstructure (texture). The work originates from a research collaboration with Pennsylvania State University, where Ms. Hofer herself spent four-month at the American university.

The ISFK, respectively the Department of Materials Science is looking forward to Anna Hofer (currently working at the company LITHOZ in Vienna) starting her PhD on April 1st, 2020.


Congratulations and good luck with the dissertation!

New head of the Chair of Structural and Functional Ceramics

On 01.10.2019 Univ.-Prof. Dr. Raúl Bermejo Moratinos took over the professorship for Advanced Ceramics and Micro-Electronic Systems and the chair for Structural and Functional Ceramics (in succession of Em.O.Univ.-Prof. Dr. Robert Danzer).

ERC-Grant „CeraText"

Tailoring Microstructure and Architecture to Build Ceramic Components with Unprecedented Damage Tolerance

Prof. Dr. Raul Bermejo receives the ERC Consolidator Grant for the project "CeraText" (Tailoring Microstructure and Architecture to Build Ceramic Components with Unprecedented Damage Tolerance). Prof. Bermejo will explore new concepts to make ceramic components more damage tolerant and reliable. In doing so, Bermejo is taking his cue from nature. For example, one can learn a lot from the internal structure of a mussel shell: In the event of local damage, cracks are deflected by the many ultra-thin layers in the shell. This prevents spontaneous total failure. He is trying to transfer this principle to ceramic materials for technical applications. With the ERC grant, Prof. Bermejo will create "bio-inspired" multilayer structures, similar to those found in shells or bones, to investigate the underlying strengthening mechanisms. Fundamental design guidelines will be established according to which future ceramic components (e.g. by 3D generative manufacturing processes) could be built.