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Biologized Clamping Technology (BioClamp)

The increasing industrial demand for filigree components, e.g. made of difficult-to-machine materials, requires suitable workpiece clamping devices that enable precise and reliable machining under the specific challenges of deformation-free clamping. As a result of the often unfavourable clamping forces, conventional clamping systems can cause critical shape deviation and damage to thin-walled components. Approaches for the further development of conventional clamping devices, which are based on a bionically motivated surface functionalization, show considerable potential for reducing the required proportion of the normal clamping forces by maximizing the frictional and holding forces. The tick species Ixodes ricinus serves as a model here, which can convince with combination gripping tools consisting of robust claws and flexible pads through relatively high holding forces.

An essential objective is the development of a clamping device equipped with functionalized clamping surfaces for process-reliable workpiece clamping of deformation-sensitive components. For this purpose, novel approaches on the micro- and nano-structural level are to be combined in order to develop a biologized clamping contact surface that can realize a more efficient force transmission by means of an increased frictional connection between workpiece and clamping element. In addition, relevant characteristics of the resulting clamping and machining process are to be measured by means of sensor integration in order to increase process reliability and evaluate the effectiveness of the developed workpiece clamping surfaces.

To achieve these objectives, a representative reference error in the clamping of a deformation-sensitive component is to be defined using a classical clamping device. In the further course, the technological expertise of the Institute of Machining Technology (ISF) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology (IWS) in the field of surface structuring as well as coating by means of PVD carbon coating systems will be focused on the clamping context as well as further developed. Selected surface modifications are tested in a test rig with regard to their holding force and then combined to form a hierarchically functional surface system. The resulting clamping elements with optimized frictional locking in the contact zone are validated in coordination with the industrial patron ROEMHELD Group on a demonstrator workpiece clamping system for load-adapted clamping. In addition, the clamping system will be functionally extended with suitable pressure and structure-borne sound sensors to enable an evaluation of the clamping process based on clamping pressure and contact situation with minimized component deformation.

Finally, the demonstrator system of the research project is to be transferred to a prototype clamping system in the industrial production environment in coordination with innovative end customers from the plastics processing, automotive and aerospace industries. After the evaluation of technological and economic conditions, the transfer to series products is an essential step to strengthen the performance of the product range of SMEs today and for future trends in the field of manufacturing, as well as for the use of new materials. The contribution to the productivity of machining processes is complemented by the reduction of scrap parts, which increases the efficiency of material and energy utilization as well as the economic and ecological competitiveness of SMEs in the national and international market environment.

Clamping surface concept b) Bionically motivated structure-coating system c) Modification of the structure-coating system using compressible contact layer


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Location & approach

From A1

Take exit Kreuz Dortmund/Unna to merge onto A44 toward Dortmund, which changes into the B1. Exit Dortmund-Dorstfeld toward Universität (onward see map).

From A 45

Exit Dortmund-Eichlinghofen toward Universität (onward see map).

Alternatively, you can calculate the route here: Google Maps.


Arrival by Deutsche Bahn to Dortmund or Bochum central station.

From Dortmund central station, take the S1 city train in the direction of Düsseldorf to the "Dortmund Universität" station (7 minutes journey time).

From Bochum central station, take the S1 city train in the direction of Dortmund to the "Dortmund Universität" station (14 minutes journey time).

The city train runs regularly every 20 minutes in both directions.  From the city train station, take the Skytrain (S-Universität stop) to the Campus Süd stop (1 stop, runs every 10 minutes).

From Dort­mund Airport

By taxi to TU Dortmund University, Campus South (approx. 20 min and 30 €, see  Map)

From Düsseldorf Airport

Take the city train S1 in the direction of Dortmund to the "Dortmund-Universität" station (approx. 60 min). From here, take the Skytrain in the direction of Campus South or Eichlinghofen (runs every 10 minutes and takes approx. 3 min.).


The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity. There are two stations on North Campus. One (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.


The facilities of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity (Second Page in English).