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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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  • The partners involved in the ERDF-funded project ScanCut developed a laser-based method of helical cutting with a multi-beam module, paving the way for new solutions that can be used as an alternative to punching.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

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  • Virtual premiere at the »4th Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: For the first time, experts from all over the world will discuss new ways to use and develop laser polishing online on September 16 and 17, 2020.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    For the fourth time, laser polishing will be the center of attention at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen on September 16 and 17, 2020. As a premiere, however, since the “4th Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020” will take place virtually for the first time. On both days, due to the large number of international participants, the conference will start at 1:30 p.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. (both CET).

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  • In the SeQuLas research project, the partners developed an electronically monitored process for gentle, high-precision laser transmission welding of small plastic components for medical technology (in the picture: microfluidic chip from Bartels Mikrotechnik).
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    In the successfully completed NRW project SeQuLas, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and three industrial partners have developed a joining process that can be used to produce the smallest weld seams in transparent plastic components. The process makes use of a thulium fiber laser, which offers a particular advantage: Since plastics absorb the corresponding wavelength well, the process does not require additional absorbers such as soot. The process is particularly interesting for medical technology, as it should be used to increase flexibility and efficiency in industrial production.

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  • LASER World of PHOTONICS 2021 under special circumstances.
    © Messe München GmbH, Germany.

    LASER World of PHOTONICS 2021 will be opening its doors in a year’s time. From June 21 to 24, 2021, the world’s leading photonics trade fair will once again be presenting innovations from the industry in Munich – this time under special circumstances due to the coronavirus crisis. After the economic slump, exhibitors and the SPECTARIS trade association see an excellent opportunity for LASER 2021 to provide impetus for economic recovery. Exhibitors can register now.

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  • One of the key goals of the EU project ADIR is to recover valuable raw materials by disassembling electronic devices that are no longer in use.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The EU project ADIR set out to develop a completely new, automated method of recycling electronic devices by disassembling them and recovering the valuable raw materials they contain. Under the title of “Next generation urban mining – Automated disassembly, separation and recovery of valuable materials from electronic equipment”, the ADIR project team has spent the last four years developing a sustainable recycling concept. Led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, based in Aachen, Germany, and involving eight project partners from three countries, the ADIR project’s strategic goal is to reduce the EU’s dependency on natural resources, reduce the need for costly imports of raw materials, and demonstrate new technologies for inverse production.

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