Centre of Metal Construction



The RWTH - Aachen University has with her faculties of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and also in the fields of mining engineering, metallurgy and geoscience some powerful institutes, which deal with steel research and application in different fields. The research tasks and the expectance from the side of the industrial partners demand the increasing interdisciplinary collaboration beyond the range of expert fields. For teaching, as well, a coherent consideration of manufacturing, processing and application of materials with a direct connection to practice is necessary. Therefore, the following institutes have consolidated in the non-profit association "Centre of Metal Construction, zmb, e.V." in accordance with the process chain:

  • Institute of Metal Forming, IBF
  • Institute of Ferrous Metallurgy, IEHK
  • Institute for Automotive Engineering, IKA
  • Surface Engineering Institute, IOT
  • Welding Institute, ISF
  • Department of Steel Construction, LFS

The association of these institutes entails the coupling of expert competence on different fields and offers the possibility to demonstrate closed process chains, from the material selection to the finished part.


In the Centre of Metal Construction, research-, teaching- and information activities are focussed, particulary for new solutions for steel. In varying exhibitions the demonstration objects are presented to universities and experts. In practice-related research projects and in interdisciplinary cooperation the development, manufacturing and testing of innovative large parts made of steel and steel compounds and also the development of light-weight components for traffic engineering are carried out. For students from different subject fields and for experts from industrial practice the elaborated solutions are demonstrated and discussed in teaching and advanced training courses.

Position and Concept of the Building

The zmb is situated in the development area Melaten of the RWTH - Aachen University, which has an excellent connection to the motorway Cologne/Dusseldorf. The building has a most exposed position and is a demonstration object for modern constructions with steel. Due to its progressive fire protection concept, the carrying steel construction remained visible. The façade in front of the seminary and office rooms is a modern steel and glass construction, the roof and walls construction consists of surfaced profiled steel plates. The core area for research and development is the laboratory and mechanical workshop area with a steel fixing plate of 22x6m and other modular manufacturing and testing devices for the manufacturing and testing of large parts.


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