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  • In the “MobDi” project, disinfection robots are being developed for use both in buildings (left side) and in transportation (right side).
    © Fraunhofer IPA, Rainer Bez (image) / Fraunhofer IMW, Stefanie Irrler (illustration).

    Service robots can help ensure that buildings and means of transport are cleaned and disinfected regularly and with consistently high quality. Since October 2020, twelve institutions of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have been working on the development of new technologies for this field of application. Led by Fraunhofer IPA, the partners are pooling their expertise in the “Mobile Disinfection" (MobDi) research project to contribute to a safe “New Normal” in times of pandemic. The project is part of the »Fraunhofer vs. Corona« action program.

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  • In order to be able to repair and coat components more efficiently, the process chain was tested on a heating roller, coated with corrosion-resistant iron-based powder.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT's globally successful EHLA extreme high-speed laser material deposition process is not only turning heads. In the collaborative project EVEREST, the institute – along with three industrial partners – has developed process and system technology to efficiently repair and coat components and tested it on rollers. Now after successfully completing the project, the Aachen researchers want to establish the newly developed process chain in the industry. The goal is to coat long and large rollers and other rotating components with the EHLA process in a near-net-shape, both reliably and extremely efficiently.

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  • The development of laser-based sensor technology improves future metal recycling. One goal: to raise the resource efficiency of companies.
    © Cronimet Ferroleg. GmbH, Karlsruhe, Germany.

    In order to help the industry have greater access to raw materials, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and Cronimet Ferroleg. GmbH have jointly developed a laser-based sorting process for metal scrap as part of the BMBF-funded “PLUS” project. A new sensor they have developed makes the recycling of metallic raw materials many times more efficient than previously possible. The EU project “REVaMP” goes one step further: In this project, Fraunhofer ILT experts have also been contributing their expertise in the field of materials analysis at the European level since January 2020, thus making an important international contribution to securing a resource-efficient supply of raw materials in the long term.

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  • Printed miniature loudspeaker listening into the future

    Press Release / January 07, 2021

    Technical structures and any geometries can be applied to the wafer by means of inkjet printing, and functionalization takes place via laser radiation. The individual loudspeaker elements are then separated and integrated into an electronic environment.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    It has six corners and is about the size of a 1-cent piece: In an additive manufacturing process, miniature loudspeakers can be produced efficiently and cost-effectively as part of piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems - so-called piezo-MEMS - using a combination of inkjet printing and laser technology. This has been demonstrated by scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, the Institute for Materials in Electrical Engineering 2 (IWE2) at RWTH Aachen University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology ISIT. The partners manufactured a corresponding demo component as part of the recently completed BMBF joint project “Generative Manufacturing of Efficient Piezo-MEMS for Microactuators (GENERATOR) ”.

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  • With the "Laser-based Manufacturing" technology platform, experts from Fraunhofer ILT offer SMEs central access to numerous European specialist colleagues with years of experience. In the picture: Laser Material Deposition (LMD).
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Volker Lannert.

    A photonics network of pan-European scale will start in January 2021 as part of the EU Horizon 2020 program: The project „Photonics Digital Innovation Hub“– PhotonHub Europe for short – is designed to make small and medium-sized European companies fit for the future by supporting them in the use of photonic technologies. The „PhotonHub Europe“ expects more than 1000 new high-tech jobs and around one billion euros in sales by 2025. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT coordinates one of the eight technology platforms. With its focus on laser-based production, this platform plays an important role in European photonics.

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  • Several lasers at Fraunhofer ILT in Aachen use 3D printing to transform metal powder into a demonstrator component for the future generation of Rolls-Royce engines.
    © Fraunhofer, Germany.

    Accelerating the additive production of metal components by at least a factor of 10: With this goal in mind, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft launched the lighthouse project “futureAM – Next Generation Additive Manufacturing” in 2017. As the project ends in November 2020, six Fraunhofer institutes have made technological leaps forward in systems engineering, materials and process control as well as end-to-end digitalization, thus increasing the performance and cost-effectiveness of metal-based additive manufacturing along the entire process chain.

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  • As a demonstration component for the welding and heat treatment of high- and ultra-high-strength steels, Fraunhofer ILT has very lightweight battery boxes with crash frames in the construction and testing phase.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Martensitic chromium steels are one of the steel grades with a future, steels that are ideal for automotive applications since they are both lightweight and corrosion resistant. These materials are particularly in demand for the design of collision-safe battery boxes for electric cars. For this reason, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen uses these sophisticated components as demonstration components for laser welding and heat treatment.

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  • Stifterverband Prize for Multi-beam Laser Processing

    Press Release / October 09, 2020

    Large-format (1 m x 1.5 m) embossing plate produced with the new multi-beam engraving system.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The ultra-short pulse laser is seeing ever wider acceptance among industrial users as a tool for precision manufacturing. In particular, these advances are due to new developments or technological progress in system technology, which increase productivity considerably. Increasing productivity significantly was also the goal of a team from industry and research, which was awarded the Science Prize of the Stifterverband for Collaborative Research at the annual conference of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft on October 9. The team has developed a technology in which a laser beam is split into up to 16 partial beams. That means there are 16 tools controlled in parallel and individually to produce functional surfaces.

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  • More flexible battery design with ultrafast laser ablation

    Press Release / September 08, 2020

    Fast, gentle and reliable:  The Fraunhofer ILT has come up with a process tailor-made to ablate anode material from very thin copper foils at up to 1760 mm³/min. It uses a powerful USP laser to expose surfaces for electrical contacts.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The ultrashort pulse (USP) laser has been known to shine whenever highly sensitive material needs to be machined quickly yet gently. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has investigated one such application that certainly looks to have a bright future: The Aachen-based researchers developed a quick, reliable and nondestructive method of ablating lithium-ion batteries’ anode material with an ultrashort pulsed laser beam. This ablation technique exposes electrical contact points called tabs.

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  • Producing Nanostructures Cost-Effectively

    Press Release / September 03, 2020

    At Fraunhofer ILT, a laboratory system for EUV has been built to process wafers with a diameter of up to 100 mm.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    How can structures smaller than one micrometer be generated? And how can even smaller structures of less than 100 nanometers be produced without great effort? Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have developed several technologies to answer such questions. With these technologies, they can simulate, produce and measure periodic microstructures. They use phase-shifting transmission masks that can efficiently generate nanostructures down to 28 nanometers.

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