Research fields

    Presentation of CEMEF research activities

    CEMEF's research activity focuses generally on the science of materials and forming processes. It is organised on the basis of experimental studies, modelling and numerical simulation of the behaviour of materials during processing.

    In fact, this base covers a broad scientific spectrum.  Indeed, it aims at developing new materials as well as understanding and optimizing shaping processes based on physico-chemical characterizations and numerical modeling. The creation of CEMEF is the result of this cross-disciplinary approach to research. However, the multidisciplinary approach has not stood still since then. On the contrary, it is still evolving. While our research activities in the field of digital technology are making great strides, they also require innovation in terms of methodology, for example. And it's in the same way that our work is interested in data science, high-performance computing, etc.

    Finally, it should be noted that all the research areas studied are intended to contribute to the research activity of industry.



    Our research axes are essentially based on five main scientific themes that we will present in greater detail below.

    1. The material in all its states

    First of all, of course, there are the materials. Our approach, however, focuses on the aspect of the finished product. It must be said that the final properties of the materials demanded by the industry are becoming more and more sophisticated. We therefore study the material at all scales (nano, micro, macro) and in all its states (solid or fluid, at rest or under stress).

    In order to meet these needs, we work on the basis of physical and structural characterizations, thanks to dedicated test means or from machines developed to order and instrumented by the MEA support team "Mesures, Etudes, Atelier". It should be stressed here that the numerical approach is increasingly associated with experimental studies. Thus, it participates as much in the development of materials as in the understanding of their behaviour or in the analysis of mechanical tests.

    2. Metal and polymer forming processes

    Secondly, we are interested in shaping processes. Logically, the aim is to analyse and optimise industrial shaping processes. More specifically, to obtain the final properties expected from materials and structures.

    In addition, the studies give rise to the development of simulation software. Currently, the main codes are Forge®, Thercast®, Rem3D®, DIGIMU®, Ludovic® and XimeX® as well as Qobeo® and AEROMINES. They are marketed by the software publishers, Transvalor and SCConsultants.

    It should be noted that the work generally couples several fields of physics such as mechanics, thermics, electromagnetism, chemistry or metallurgy...

    3. Surfaces, coatings and tribology

    The activity focuses on the characterization of surfaces and interfaces. It is based primarily on the measurement, observation and modelling of contact interactions. The construction of solutions then involves physico-chemistry and mechanics. Thus, it is interested in the in-service tribological properties of manufactured objects but also in the relationship between structures, surface properties and durability.

    4. The modelling of the process chain - service life

    It should be noted that our research activity extends to the downstream end of the shaping process. CEMEF's software developments enable the implementation of virtual chains, elaboration / shaping / intermediate operations / service life. On the one hand, we therefore refine predictive models of in-service properties and, on the other, we optimise these properties.

    5. Numerical challenges

    Finally, the last area of research defined at CEMEF concerns numerical simulation. This is an important area that is used to understand and monitor the evolution of the material during its shaping. It must also integrate the thermomechanical history of the material, its microstructural transformations and its interactions with the environment. In this dynamic, the challenges currently concern the development of multi-scale approaches using V.E.R. representation for virtual material for example. We are also developing complex multiphysical couplings: electromagnetic (induction processing), fluid mechanics (industrial heating in a furnace and quenching in a liquid bath)... Finally, our numerical modelling integrates turbulence, phase changes, etc.

    Because these applications require ever-increasing levels of precision, our tools require ever-higher calculation times. It is therefore logical that we are also interested in upstream methodological developments. We are currently working on powerful algorithms to reduce calculation time by integrating massive parallelism.

    Finally, it should be noted that our know-how in modelling and simulation is opening up new fields of application. For example in the fields of fluid mechanics, fluid-structure interaction, and mechanics of and for living organisms.


    Our research is structured around four divisions and seven scientific teams.

    1. computational Mechanics and Physics Division

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    2. Metal Alloys Division

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    3. Polymers and Composites Division

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    4. Surfaces and Processes Division

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    This is a brief list.


    • polymers / composites
    • metals / metal alloys
    • materials from/for the living
    • bio-based materials
    • ceramics, glass
    • digital material


    • thermal, mechanical, physical characterization
    • tribology, adhesion, interface
    • synthesis, elaboration


    • formatting
    • mechanical assemblies
    • welding, machining
    • heat treatments
    • mechanical treatments
    • chemical treatments


    • model development
    • software development
    • simulation
    • numerical methods
    • scientific calculation
    • high-performance computing

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    Research teams CEMEF
    Awards and scientific prizes
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