Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

10.01.2018

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver of innovation and growth. In other industries too, composites are now becoming increasingly important. Yet users all face the same issue: the problem of finding suitable processing methods for their products.


Laserjoining of FRP and hybrid joints between FRP and metal.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany


High-speed laser texturizing system for plastic-metal-joining.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany

Lasers change the whole process chain

Suitable for applications such as welding, cutting, ablation, drilling and thermoplastic tape laying, etc., this is where lasers come in. This puts lasers in competition with classical processes. Dr.-Ing. Alexander Olowinsky, Group Manager Micro Joining at Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, says: “When it comes to cutting and drilling, mechanical techniques such as milling, sawing or water-jet cutting are typically employed. For joining materials, adhesive bonding is the preferred method.”

When switching to lasers, however, it is always a matter of changing over to a completely different manufacturing process. Newcomers to this should talk to experts and define very precisely their requirements for the composite component. This will result in a number of options ranging from a low-cost but somewhat lower quality process to slower technology that is more expensive but of a higher quality.

Process control plays a key role

All processes have one common denominator: their quality and efficiency depend on process control. ILT scientists are looking in detail at various methods for achieving this. Dipl.-Wirt.Ing. Christoph Engelmann, Team Leader Polymer Processing, gives some examples: “With welding, constant monitoring of the temperature is important because of decomposition. When it comes to cutting, we have to employ special optical coherence tomography (OCT) sensors which enable us to determine and adjust the distance between the cutting head and the workpiece.”

An additional issue is that it is no longer sufficient just to monitor and regulate a process. Manufacturers of hybrid components cannot rely on random samples, they must document the entire manufacturing process. Laser technology’s visual accessibility enables manufacturers to produce the required production documentation.

Joining technology is a good example. Here, lasers change the entire process chain and all its prepatory steps. This allows laser joining to be performed without typical disadvantages such as long adhesive hardening time. Dr. Olowinsky says: “Unfortunately, just comparing the supposedly lower-cost adhesive bonding with the mere process of laser joining disregards the upstream and downstream process steps. That is why in Paris we want to encourage decision-makers and developers to take an holistic view of the entire process.”

Forming undercuts in the surface structure of metals more quickly

Laser-based hybrid joining begins with preparation of the metal surface. When it comes to bonding plastic and metal, the options are surface microstructuring using a CW laser, or alternatively micro- and nanostructuring using an ultrashort pulsed laser with a variety of machine concepts. In Paris, theteam will present the ComMUnion project – at the heart of which lie high-speed laser texturing and laser-assisted CFRP tape placement with integrated process monitoring. For the laser texturing process, the Aachen researchers are developing a polygon scanner system for beam guidance that will enable undercut structures to be generated considerably more quickly than was possible until now.

Mass production of hybrid components – to be used in car bodies, for example – is what the EU-funded project FlexHyJoin is all about. The aim is to reduce processing time and manufacturing costs in the production process by using a new and fully automatic joining process for metal and thermoplastic fiber-reinforced polymer composites. To this end, induction and laser welding are carried out together in a fully automated production cell. In Paris, Fraunhofer ILT will be showcasing a roof bow as the fruits of its research activities. The demonstrator is used as the connecting element between the B-pillars, and it consists of two connection nodes made of metal as well as a connecting element made of polyamide reinforced with biaxial glass fiber fabric.

Paradigm shift in the welding of plastics

At the JEC, Fraunhofer ILT will also be presenting new developments in laser transmission welding techniques for joining plastics with a metallic component. In the past, laser welding often failed here due to material thicknesses and filler materials. Through a number of research projects, the Aachen researchers aim to tackle this problem by using long-wave beam sources in the near-infrared range up to 3000 nm. Thanks to the many different beam sources available today, the way of working has changed. Dr. Olowinsky says: “We now modify the wavelength of the lasers to match the material, whereas in the past it used to be the other way around. That is the essential paradigm shift in the welding of plastics.”

At the joint booth, the researchers will also be presenting new developments in the field of laser cutting and drilling. The challenge here is to minimize the interaction between laser and composite. To achieve this, Fraunhofer ILT relies on pulsed laser beams and very rapidly deflected CW radiation, which penetrates ever deeper into the material over the course of several scans. The same also applies to laser drilling, which the Aachen researchers effectively use to cut form-locking contours into preforms.

Fraunhofer ILT at the JEC World Composite Show

In Paris visitors can find out more about composite processing and the current state of development at the joint AZL booth C55, Hall 5A from March 6-8, 2018.

Contact

Dipl.-Wirt. Ing. Christoph Engelmann
Micro Joining Group
Telephone +49 241 8906-217
christoph.engelmann@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Dr.-Ing. Alexander Olowinsky
Group Manager Micro Joining
Telephone +49 241 8906-491
alexander.olowinsky@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de/en

Petra Nolis M.A. | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht ILA 2018: Cost-effective carbon fibers for light-weight construction
18.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

nachricht Fraunhofer IDMT presents method for airborne-sound based quality assurance
18.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

Im Focus: Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning

The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.

“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New capabilities at NSLS-II set to advance materials science

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Strong carbon fiber artificial muscles can lift 12,600 times their own weight

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Polymer-graphene nanocarpets to electrify smart fabrics

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>