Process Development for the Laser-Based Production of Site-Selective Tribological Layer Systems on 3D Surfaces
Numerous applications are affected by friction and wear stress, particularly in the mechanical engineering and automotive industries. This can pose significant challenges for components used. In many cases, tribological coatings can offer a solution for extending component service life and efficiency.
Innovative components with tribological coatings for engine manufacturing
Tribological coatings are playing an increasingly important role in a number of applications, especially when it comes to meeting ever more challenging requirements for lightweight components. In many cases, conventional tribological coatings based on anti-friction (bonded lubricant) coatings can no longer keep pace with increasingly stringent specifications for engine components such as pistons and bearing shells, especially in regard to temperature and wear resistance. This often means that a light metal can only be used as a base material by opting for tribological coating systems that match the required features in each case. As part of the joint research project TriboLas3D, which is part of the SME innovation program “KMU-innovativ”, a team of experts is now working on the development of an innovative, laser-based method of applying polymer-based tribological coatings. Their task is summed up under the heading “Development of a laser-based method for producing tribological coatings in selective locations on 3D surfaces.”
Greater energy efficiency and fewer contaminants thanks to laser technology
The innovations this project is pursuing will significantly contribute to increasing energy efficiency and climate protection by reducing CO2 emissions, both in terms of process and application. Due to the high energy efficiency of the laser process compared to furnace processes, the energy required to functionalize the layer can be significantly reduced with successful process development. In addition, the range of applications of tribologically stressed lightweight components will significantly expand in machine and automotive construction and the service life and the efficiency of the components will increase. Resulting from this is both an increase in energy efficiency and an emission reduction for the corresponding industrial plants and systems.