Laser Structuring is a process for functionalizing component surfaces. With such functionalization, the optical, mechanical, haptic and biological properties of the component are changed according to its desired use.
Changed component properties through surface functionalization
The fields of application are many and varied. For example, plastic surfaces in automobiles have better non-slip qualities and appear to be of higher quality if they are provided with microstructures. In the case of engine components, the right surface treatment reduces friction and, thus, air resistance. Water-repellent properties can be found today on coatings as well as on textiles. For metallic components, such as instruments in medical technology, this »lotus effect« is achieved by introducing a periodic structure using (ultra-)short pulse lasers. And the opposite effect can also be achieved by micro- and nanostructures in the surface: Hydrophilic surfaces, such as those found in vessels or certain optics, literally suck in water and transport the liquid in the desired direction.
Extensive system technology for laser structuring
At Fraunhofer IPT, we are able to reproduce micro- and nanostructures even on complexly shaped surfaces of metal, glass and plastic components. For the production of the structures we use conventional 5-axis systems in which we integrate (ultra-)short pulse lasers.
Our MIRA robot system is used for particularly large objects. With MIRA we can produce structures of the highest quality even for very large and complex components. In order to compensate for system-related inaccuracies of the robot, we have developed an intelligent Laser Structuring head that automatically detects and independently corrects position deviations.
Our services at a glance
- Development of function-oriented nano- and microstructures
- Surface structuring of complex shaped components
- Individual consultation on the use of Laser Structuring
- Feasibility and profitability studies
- Adaptation of the process to existing production environments
- Prototype production of surface structures