Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Surface Finishing at High Speed

07.08.2018

High precision and high quality, but too slow – this is how most laser processes for surface finishing can be described. In the EU research project ultraSURFACE, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, together with nine international partners, is developing two new optics by the end of 2018. With them, the laser beam shape can be specifically and quickly adapted to constantly changing processing situations. In the near future, lasers will be able to polish, coat or structure surfaces up to ten times faster than before thanks to this tuning.

Even the name promises speed: Since 2016, an international team with companies and institutes from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Israel and Switzerland has been researching and developing “Ultra Dynamic Optical Systems for High-Throughput Laser Surface Processing”. Two new laser optics for the near infrared range will reduce the processing time of surfaces ideally to one-tenth and cut costs by half.


With the integrated mirror, the laser beam is adapted to the processing situation with switching intervals of less than five milliseconds.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany


Piezoelectric deformable mirror (PDM) developed in the EU project ultraSURFACE.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany

Active beam shaping in milliseconds

One of the optics is specifically designed for the polishing and processing of thin layers with lasers. To accomplish this, the research team relies on a continuously adjustable piezoelectric deformable mirror (PDM). This ensures that the laser beam adapts to the processing situation with switching intervals of less than five milliseconds, thus very quickly.

“The laser beam is reshaped depending on the angle of incidence so that its projection on the work piece surface always has the same shape and the intensity remains constant,” explains the graduate physicist Judith Kumstel, expert in laser polishing at Fraunhofer ILT.

This manipulation is important because only if the three-dimensional beam is continuously adapted at high processing speeds and hits the surface with constant intensity will the result of the laser processing always be the same – even with complex shaped components and constantly changing angles of incidence. On the other hand, if the laser beam projection deforms on slanted surfaces, the quality of the processed 3D surface also deteriorates.

A different approach was developed for laser structuring. The second new optics allows four beams to be used in parallel, instead of the usual single beam, to increase processing speed and productivity. With a diffractive optical element (DOE), the laser beam is split into a square beam of four partial beams.

In conventional multi-beam concepts of this kind, the focusing optics, as well as the shape of the component lead to a distortion of the projected beam. In the ultraSURFACE project, a special system has been developed with which each individual partial beam can be adjusted in its position within milliseconds so that there is always a square beam for processing.

Laser finishing becomes affordable

Two compact optical modules are currently being developed. The ultraSURFACE team will test their potential in a new laser system in various applications until the end of 2018. A Swiss company is building an industrial-grade machine that can be used to polish, structure and coat flexibly, cost-effectively and with unrivaled speed thanks to the quickly interchangeable optical modules. Kumstel explains, “With the concepts developed in this project, surfaces will soon be processed just as well as with conventional systems.

Thanks to the new optics and the new machine, processing will be ten times faster than before, so that laser-based surface finishing will offer a cost-effective alternative to conventional surface finishing for many companies from various industries – even for small job shops”.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Dipl.-Phys. Judith Kumstel
Group Polishing
Telephone +49 241 8906-8026
judith.kumstel@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Dr.-Ing. Edgar Willenborg
Group Manager Polishing
Telephone +49 241 8906-213
edgar.willenborg@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

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

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

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Barely scratching the surface: A new way to make robust membranes
13.12.2018 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht Topological material switched off and on for the first time
11.12.2018 | ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>