Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New laser joining technologies at ‘K 2016’ trade fair

19.09.2016

Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.

K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than 200,000 visitors from around the world. Focus topics this year include industry 4.0, resource efficiency, new materials and lightweight design.


Image 1: Structuring a metal probe with a high-power fiber laser in preparation for a metal-plastic bond.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.


Image 2: Acrylic glass demonstrator fabricated by laser welding, cutting, ablating as well as polymer-metal joining.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Isotropic joining of plastic and metal

A key factor in lightweight design is the ability to form positive and permanent bonds between metallic and plastic surfaces. There is actually already a known laser method for this, particularly for fiber composite materials used in the aerospace and automotive industries.

The method involves first structuring the metal surface with the laser, then bonding it with the heated plastic surface. Previously, the laser structuring was done in a scanning process that produces lines on the metallic surface.

As part of the HyBriLight project funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), specialists at Fraunhofer ILT developed a new process for structuring that uses an ultrashort pulse (USP) laser, which produces cone-like protrusions (CLP) on the metal. These randomly distributed micro-elevations increase the surface area five- to tenfold.

As a result, the bond is not only stronger, but also equal in all directions because, unlike with the scan lines, the surface now has an isotropic structure. The process has been tested in the lab and also works for injection molding with metallic inserts. This method will also be on display with a large demonstrator (image) at K 2016.

Absorber-free laser transmission welding

When laser welding thermoplastics, one of the components is usually transparent, and an absorber material is added to the second part to enable it to better absorb the laser radiation. The laser then passes through the first component and melts the second, thus joining the two parts.

The additive can be omitted if a longer-wavelength laser is used. Then both components absorb the radiation and care must be taken to ensure selective melting while minimizing the size of the heat-affected zone (HAZ). The process required for this was developed at Fraunhofer ILT and involves rapidly (>1 m/s) and repeatedly guiding the laser beam along the welding contour while simultaneously discharging the heat above and below the parts being joined.

The method is expected to be of interest particularly in the field of medical engineering, where additives can pose a risk to biocompatibility. However, the method can also be used in other applications where absorbers are not permissible for reasons of appearance, cost or function.

Secure and gentle sealing of multilayer films

A similar laser can also be used to seal multilayer films against external media. This is useful, for example, when processing lithium batteries or OLED displays, which contain materials that are very sensitive to oxygen or water vapor. For this reason, they are encapsulated in special high-barrier multilayer films.

Normally the film is adhesively bonded or heat-sealed around the perimeter of the components to be protected, creating a pocket that includes, for instance, the flexible organic LED. Now, with a special laser, it is possible to selectively melt just one layer of the film, making the production-ready sealing process even gentler for the packaged component.

In addition to its suitability for electronics, this technology could also be of interest in the area of medical packaging that has to satisfy stricter requirements. Developed as part of a research project, this technology is currently still being refined. Future plans for it include encapsulation of flexible solar cells and use in roll-to-roll processing.

Fraunhofer ILT will have several specialists in the development of new laser-based technologies and processes representing the institute at the joint Fraunhofer booth at K 2016, Hall 7, Booth SC01.

Contact

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

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

Weitere Informationen:

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

Petra Nolis | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

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: 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...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

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

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>