Today’s markets demand high levels of component reliability and durability as well as long technical lives. These demands require engineers to design components with sufficiently stress-resistant subsurface areas.
For the technology of treating surfaces through laser hardening, the Fraunhofer IPT is developing new approaches in surface functionalization and the provision of anti-wear resistance. In comparison with conventional techniques of hardening the subsurface areas such as flame hardening and induction hardening, laser hardening offers superior levels of flexibility, reproducibility and dimensional accuracy (low warpage). It is also relatively easy to control on a technical level.
The component is hardened through the heat of the laser beam that is locally applied to its surface. By transmitting the heat quickly into the interior of the work piece (a process known as self-quenching), a hard, martensitic microstructure is formed in the outer areas of the component (down to a depth of approx. 1.5 mm). One key objective of the research which is currently conducted at the Fraunhofer IPT is to reach significantly deeper levels of penetration. We are also experimenting with customized free-form optics as possible instruments for the precise definition and control of hardness profiles.
- Feasibility studies for the application of laser hardening
- Laser hardening process development for your future range of products
- Laser hardening of customized small-sized batches
- Integration of laser hardening into existing process chains
- Design and construction of laser hardening facilities or integration of laser systems into machine tools