Current Collaborative Projects

On this page you will find a selection of the current collaborative projects of the Fraunhofer ILT. Detailed information can be found in the project profiles below and on the respective project websites.

Communication

Communication

“CeGlaFlex” – Process Chain for Form-Flexible Ceramic and Glass-Based Switching and Display Elements

According to the current state of the art, there are only inadequate approaches and methods to produce thin ceramics in a continuous process chain with high transparency, high dimensional accuracy as well as high surface and edge quality. But not only is there a lack of transparent, form-flexible ceramics, suitable processing technologies are also needed with which 3D components can be produced with the required qualities of surfaces and edges. Furthermore, there are currently no processes available which can treat the ceramic thin-glass composites necessary for a functional electronic component with switching and display functions. In the joint Fraunhofer project CeGlaFlex, the partners will investigate and develop, therefore, processes and process chains that can machine form-flexible ceramic and glass-based switching and display elements.

The project has set itself the goals 0f developing processes and process chains that can

  • Produce thin and hence form-flexible transparent ceramics and display laminates with a thickness in the range of 100 μm,
  • Process transparent, form-flexible ceramics and thin glass composites with high three-dimensional geometrical flexibility without damaging the material functions and
  • Produce integrated switching and display elements on form-flexible substrates made of ceramic-glass composites.

Project Information

Title “CeGlaFlex” – Process Chain for Form-Flexible Ceramic and Glass-Based Switching and Display Elements
Term 01.03.2017 -29.02.2020
Supported by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
Contact Person M.Sc. Christian Kalupka

Energy

“LextrA” – Laser-based additive manufacturing of components for extreme requirements out of innovative intermetallic materials

For resource and energy efficiency in industrial production, innovative materials play a decisive role: Not only do they make production processes more economical, but they are also robust and environmentally friendly. The aim of LextrA, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is to develop additive processing technologies for special intermetallic alloys, e.g. molybdenum and vanadium silicides as well as iron aluminides. Such alloys are suitable for high-temperature applications in aerospace, power generation or toolmaking. Processes used for them include powder nozzle-based Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and powder bed-based Selective Laser Melting (SLM), also known as laser-beam melting or laser powder-bed fusion (L-PBF). The project partners in LextrA have already successfully produced and processed Mo-Si-B alloys for turbine construction, which are suitable for operation at high hot-gas temperatures and can significantly increase the efficiency and efficiency of existing turbines. The project will help successfully develop additive processes to produce directionally solidified, low-defect structures, thereby allowing for greater overall flexibility in component design compared to established manufacturing techniques.

Project Information

Title “LextrA” – Laser-based additive manufacturing of components for extreme requirements out of innovative intermetallic materials
Term 01.02.2017 - 31.01.2020
Project Sponsor Projektträger Jülich (PTJ)
Supported by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) 
Contact Person M.Sc. Silja Katharina Rittinghaus

“PhotonFlex” – Innovative technologies for manufacturing organic solar cells

The aim of the PhotonFlex project is to develop and test innovative technologies for the cost-effective and highly productive manufacturing of flexible organic solar cells.

Project Information

Title “PhotonFlex” – Innovative technologies for manufacturing organic solar cells
Term 01.06.2016 - 31.05.2019
Project Sponsor European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Supported by European Regional Development Fund
Website Project Website “PhotonFlex”
Contact Person M.Eng. Maximilian Brosda

Environment

“ADIR” – Next Generation Urban Mining - Automated Disassembly, Separation and Recovery of Valuable Materials from Electronic Equipment

Technology metals or rare earth elements are important raw materials found in almost every electronic small appliance we use daily. However, the natural deposits of these elements are limited, and these materials must also be obtained in elaborate and often environmentally harmful processes from the appropriate ores. Using these raw materials sustainably is, therefore, becoming increasingly important. For this reason, instead of extracting raw materials, the industry is favoring material recovery: the recycling of old, unusable equipment. The Fraunhofer ILT, together with numerous international partners, is breaking new ground in the research of modern recycling processes in the project ADIR (Next Generation Urban Mining – Automated Disassembly, Separation and Recovery of Valuable Materials from Electronic Equipment). Funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework from September 2015 to August 2019, ADIR is exploring ways to make recycling processes more effective and efficient with the help of laser technology.

The recycling and extraction of raw materials from „electronic waste“ has been growing for some time now and became the recognized state of the art in the field of electronic devices since the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, the recycling processes are subject to constant development. In conventional recycling, the equipment is usually shredded. From the resulting mix of plastics, metals and glass, the desired raw materials are extracted in metallurgical or chemical processes. In this process, however, valuable raw materials are lost. ADIR has set itself the goal of using laser-based methods to recognize the corresponding materials in the device and to separate them in a targeted manner from the other materials and recyclables in subsequent work steps.

 

Project Information

Title Next generation urban mining - Automated disassembly, separation and recovery of valuable materials from electronic equipment - “ADIR”
Term 01.09.2015 - 31.08.2019
Project Sponsor European Commission
Supported by Horizon2020:
H2020-EU 2.1.5.
H2020-EU 2.1.5.3.
Website www.adir.eu
Contact Person Dr. rer. nat. Cord Fricke-Begemann

“i-Recycle

i-Recycle is linked to the ADIR project. ADIR explores new ways of extracting rare raw materials. As these are mainly used in electronic devices, the additional project, i-Recycle, collects used official mobile phones of the employees of the Fraunhofer Institutes and the Fraunhofer central administration so that technologies investigated in ADIR can be examined in practical test series.

 

Project Information

Title i-Recycle
Term 01.02.2016 - 30.11.2019
Project Sponsor Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten
Forschung e.V.
Supported by European Union
Website www.adir.eu
Contact Person apl. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Reinhard Noll

“LEMON” – Lidar Emitter and Multispecies greenhouse gases Observation Instrument

LEMON will provide a new versatile Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) sensor concept for greenhouse gases and water vapour measurements from space.

During the last climate conference in Paris in December 2015, climate-warning limits have been discussed and agreed upon. In such frame, the need for a European satellite-borne observation capacity to monitor CO2 emissions at global, European and country scales has been identified, as stated by the Copernicus report “Towards European operational observing system monitor fossil CO2 emissions”.

New space missions are now being used (GOSAT, AIRS, IASI, …) or planned (OCO, IASI-NG, MicroCarb, MERLIN, …) for CO2 and/or CH4. Given the technical challenges, they are up to now mainly based on passive (high resolution spectrometers) instruments, Lidar instrument-based mission (MERLIN) is currently in development in Europe to probe methane only.

Therefore, the main goal of LEMON is to develop a versatile instrument, able to target CO2, CH4 and water vapour stable isotopes (H216O and HDO only, from now on referred to as water vapour or H2O and HDO explicitly) with a single laser emitter.

The consortium consists of ONERA (FR), FRAUNHOFER (DE), CNRS (FR), KTH (SE), SPACETECH (DE), UiB (NO), INNOLAS (DE) and L-UP (FR). It has full expertise at Earth Observation technologies (from receiver, data acquisition, instrument control and versatile emitter) and is therefore able to fully explore, understand and validate the aforementioned advantages. The consortium is highly motivated to set-up and perform demonstrations at all instrument levels in order to showcase the project results. This will include the instrument set-up, TRL6 instrument validation, airborne demonstrations and CO2, CH4, H2O isotopes measurements, as well as roadmaps and preliminary experiments towards space operation.

The LEMON total grant request to the EC is 3 374 725€ for the whole consortium and the project will be conducted within 48 months.

Project Information

Title “LEMON” - Lidar Emitter and Multispecies greenhouse gases Observation Instrument
Term 01.01.2019 – 31.12.2022
Supported by This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°821868
Contact Person Dr. rer. nat. Michael Strotkamp

Health

“BONE” – Biofabrication of Orthopaedics in a New Era

The aim of the Interreg NWE BONE project, led by Prof. Lorenzo Morono, MERLN Insitute, Maastricht University is to research new methods for the improved treatment of bone fractures and to strengthen the performance of the North-West European economy. The four-year project started in March 2017. Eight partners from industry and research from the Netherlands, Germany, England, Ireland, France and Belgium have joined forces for this purpose.

Project Information

Title “BONE” – Biofabrication of Orthopaedics in a New Era
Term 01.04.2017 – 30.03.2021
Supported by Interreg NWE,
European Regional Development Fund
Website Project Website “BONE”
Contact Person Dr. Nadine Nottrodt

“HoPro-3D” - Hohe Produktivität in der additiven Fertigung durch die Kombination von DLP mit MPP

Multiphoton polymerization (MPP) allows components to be produced with great precision – a resolution <1 μm – thanks to photo-crosslinking. Owing the high resolution, however, the build rates are so small that an economical production of components is hardly possible.

When MPP is combined with a printer based on digital light processing (DLP) for large area meshing (DLP), the build rate for a typical microfluidic device can be increased to such an extent that the process provides economical solutions for small lot production.

Project Information

Title “HoPro-3D” - Hohe Produktivität in der additiven Fertigung durch die Kombination von DLP mit MPP
Term 01.11.2018 – 31.10.2021
Supported by Europäische Union: EFRE – Europäischer Fonds für Regionale Entwicklung, Land Nordrhein Westfalen 
Contact Person Dr. Martin Wehner

“ProImplant” – Process Chain for the Production of Degradable Magnesium Implants for Individual Bone Defects

The aim of the project is to establish a suitable process chain that can be used in oral and maxillofacial surgery to produce resorbable, patient-specific as well as porous magnesium implants (such as scaffolds) for bone defects. For this purpose, Fraunhofer ILT will qualify the additive manufacturing process Selective Laser Melting for the processing of magnesium alloys and develop a suitable workflow for the integration of pore structures in individual implants.

Project Information

Title “ProImplant” – Process Chain for the Production of Degradable Magnesium Implants for Individual Bone Defects
Term 14.04.2016 - 15.04.2019
Project Sponsor LeitmarktAgentur.NRW / Projektträger ETN
Supported by European Regional Development Fund
Contact Person
Dr. Wilhelm Meiners

Mobility

“eVerest” – Machine and system technology for efficient production of large-format 3D forming tools with design surfaces

The goal of the eVerest project is to develop highly flexible machine technology for precision laser processing, focusing on an increase of the effective ablation rate. With it, functional structures can be generated in tools and components at the highest geometric resolutions in the micrometer range without the user needing essential knowledge of the actual technology. All necessary subdomains of laser processing are integrated into the machine and operating concept, such as the virtual design of the product including the development and visualization of the structures while also taking the new possibilities of laser surface processing into account.

Project Information

Title “eVerest” – Machine and system technology for efficient production of large-format 3D forming tools with design surfaces
Term 01.01.2016 - 30.06.2019
Project Sponsor Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA)
Supported by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) 
Website Project Website "eVerest"
Contact Person   M. Sc. Andreas Brenner

“MultiPROmobil” - Multifunktionale Robotertechnologie mit universellem Laserwerkzeug für trennende, fügende und additive Fertigungsprozesse im semi-bionischen E-Mobil-Leichtbau

The project MultiPROmobil aims to study an integrated manufacturing and system technology that can produce bionically based lightweight structures efficiently in a single device with several manufacturing processes and without changing the manufacturing equipment. For this purpose, the project is researching and demonstrating a flexible and reconfigurable laser robot technology for integrated cutting, welding and metal deposition with a single processing head. This integrated process chain is intended to significantly strengthen the providers and users of the SME-dominated laser industry in NRW and, in particular, to help emerging e-mobile production in NRW remain agile on the world market.

Project Information

Title “MultiPROmobil” - Multifunktionale Robotertechnologie mit universellem Laserwerkzeug für trennende, fügende und additive Fertigungsprozesse im semi-bionischen E-Mobil-Leichtbau
Term 15.11.2018 – 14.11.2021
PROJECT SPONSOR Leitmarktagentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person Dr. Dirk Petring

“ProLMD” – Process and System Technology for Hybrid Production of Large Components with Laser Material Deposition (LMD)

In nearly every field of manufacturing, components and resulting products are becoming increasingly complex and more individual. Moreover, to succeed in the marketplace, companies have to shorten the time they need to move from an idea of a new product to launching it on the market. Established manufacturing processes are, however, reaching their limits to a certain extent. Additive manufacturing promises considerable time savings and process innovations to create value for the manufacturing industry; it can also help companies create completely new product features. Product, process and material data on additive manufacturing processes as well as innovative materials and innovative production equipment must be made available at an early stage in product development. The results of the ProLMD development project will play a key role in strengthening Germany’s international competitiveness over the long term in line with the German Federal Government’s High-Tech Strategy.

Project Information

Title Process and System Technology for Hybrid Production of Large Components with Laser Material Deposition (LMD) – “ProLMD”
Term 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2019
Project Sponsor Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA)
Supported by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Website Project Website “ProLMD”
Contact Person M.Sc. Jan Bremer

Different Topics

Additive Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, Lightweight Construction, Material Development

“AMable” – Support for the uptake of Additive Manufacturing

The AMable project facilitates the uptake of additive manufacturing in companies. The partners – institutes and companies with a wealth of experience in the field of additive manufacturing – provide comprehensive knowledge and support to European SME’s, midcaps and industry. The experts accompany each idea from the start to the first prototype – each challenge receives a business case assessment to identify the potential of the idea, the suitable services to develop it and a roadmap to ramp up production for a successful market entry.

AMable implements the Industrial Dataspace principle for Additive Manufacturing which follows the paradigm of leaving the data with the owner to put each participant in full command of his intellectual property. AMable also creates a Blockchain app that enables a continuous secured documentation of creation and change across the product evolution. Data owners use this app to chain a digital fingerprint of their files for later reference or content integrity validation.

Feasibility of functional requirements is ensured by design recommendations from the experts who use the latest construction and simulation tools. For example, visualization services involve new technologies in virtual and augmented reality. Complete use cases will be stored in the AMable Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) to provide a rich variety of solutions to new projects.

The European Commission supports the AMable project which is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in the context of the I4MS initiative.

Project Information

Title “AMable” - Additively Manufacturable
Term 01.09.2017 – 31.08.2021
Supported by European Union, Horizon 2020, FOF-12-2017 - ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS), No. 768775
Website www.amable.eu
Contact Person Dipl.-Ing. (FH) B. Eng. (hon) Ulrich Thombansen

“ComMUnion” – Net-shape joining technology to manufacture 3D multi-materials components based on metal alloys and thermoplastic composites

The ComMUnion project is dealing with the efficient production of 3D metal/CFRP multi-material components. High-speed laser texturing, surface cleaning, laser-assisted CFRP tape laying and process monitoring are to be integrated into a robot-based production cell. The ILT is developing a polygon scanner beam deflection system for the laser texturing to generate undercut structures with high surface rates in the metallic joining partner to enable high-strength connections to the CFRP tape.

Project Information

Title “ComMUnion” – Net-shape joining technology to manufacture 3D multi-materials components based on metal alloys and thermoplastic composites
Term 01.12.2015 - 31.05.2019
Project Sponsor European Commission
Supported by Horizon 2020 – The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, No. 680567
Website http://communionproject.eu
Contact Person 
Dr. Oliver Nottrodt

“EVEREST” – Development of Intelligent Process and System Technology for Extreme High-Speed Laser Material Deposition

The focus of EVEREST is to develop an intelligent process and system technology for extreme high-speed laser material deposition (EHLA) in order to make the technology available to broad industrial application. In addition to the development of robust processes for rollers in the chemical and paper industry, the partners will develop systems for automated geometry detection, tool path planning as well as process monitoring for intelligent repairs and hybrid additive manufacturing and will integrate them into a demonstration machine.

Project Information

Title “EVEREST” – Development of Intelligent Process and System Technology for Extreme High-Speed Laser Material Deposition
Term 01.04.2017 – 31.03.2020
Project Sponsor Projektträger Jülich / Leitmarktagentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person M.Sc. Gregor Bultel

“futureAM” - Next Generation Additive Manufacturing

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has launched a new cooperation platform to continue developing the additive manufacturing of metallic components: the lighthouse project futureAM. Six project partners, the Fraunhofer Institutes ILT, IWS, IWU, IGD and IFAM, as well as the Fraunhofer Research Institution IAPT, will secure Germany's technological lead in the field of additive manufacturing and make distributed resources more usable in a decentralized manner. One goal is to significantly accelerate 3D printing of metal parts while reducing manufacturing costs. The collaboration will create new digital process chains as well as scalable and robust AM processes. In addition, the institutes will develop corresponding system technology and automation and expand the range of processable materials.

In a joint ”Virtual Lab“, the futureAM partners will develop demonstrator components that show the practical suitability and the potential of the technologies developed. They will digitally map real systems and processes and optimize them by means of simulation tools – enabling users, for example, to make better predictions, or to detect and eliminate errors more quickly.

The project structure encompasses four fields of activity, which are intended to help secure the technological lead in AM: 1. Industry 4.0 and Digital Process Chains, 2. Scalable and Robust AM Processes, 3. Materials, and 4. System Technology and Automation. Fraunhofer ILT in Aachen, which will coordinate the lighthouse project for a period of three years, is in charge of the second field of activity. The scientists from Aachen are developing robust additive manufacturing processes as well as novel plant designs with large building spaces to increase process scalability.

Project Information

Title “futureAM” - Next Generation Additive Manufacturing
Term 1.7.2017 – 30.6.2020
Supported by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e. V.
Website Project Website “futureAM”
Contact Person M.Sc. Christian Tenbrock

“HyTraM” - Entwicklung eines hochfesten und temperaturwechselbeständigen Hybridwerkstoffverbunds aus transparenten Materialien für innovative Funktions- und Designbauteile

A novel laser-based connection technology will be developed in which the surface of glass components can be modified by micro- and nanoscale laser structuring. Thanks to this technology, high-strength and temperature change resistant plastic-glass composites can be produced with thermoplastics and subsequent laser transmission welding or injection molding. The new joining and assembly technology significantly shortens process chains, eliminates additional materials and process steps and expands the design options for functional components.

Project Information

Title “HyTraM” - Entwicklung eines hochfesten und temperaturwechselbeständigen Hybridwerkstoffverbunds aus transparenten Materialien für innovative Funktions- und Designbauteile
Term 01.11.2018 – 31.10.2021
PROJECT SPONSOR Leitmarktagentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person Dipl. Wirt.-Ing. Christoph Engelmann

“INSPIRE” – Interferometric Distance Sensor System with Autonomous Subsystems for High-Precision Inline Measurements to Control Automated Manufacturing Processes

The goal of “INSPIRE” is to create an interferometric distance sensor system for absolute measurement which is also capable of performing simultaneous inline detection of the macroscopic and microscopic geometric workpiece properties of metal semi-finished products.

Project Information

Title Interferometric Distance Sensor System with Autonomous Subsystems for High-Precision Inline Measurements to Control Automated Manufacturing Processes – “INSPIRE”
Term 01.04.2017 – 31.12.2019
Project Sponsor Fraunhofer ILT
Supported by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Website Project Webseite “INSPIRE”
Contact Person Dr. rer. nat. Stefan Hölters

“LaMeta” - Laserbasierte Metallisierung zum Fügen von hybriden Werkstoffkombinationen

High-performance components are increasingly being produced through a combination of various multi- and hybrid materials. For such combinations to succeed, a suitable joining technology is needed since there are few technologies to produce a reliable joint with these new, innovative materials, especially dissimilar ones. Such materials include ceramics (e.g., SiC) as well as metals and lightweight metals (e.g., Al, Cu, Ti). With special active solders and at temperatures above 850 °C, materials with difficult-to-wet surfaces can be provided with a metallic layer in a vacuum or inert gas. However, when complete components are heated, internal tension and, thus, cracks can often occur. For this reason, LaMeta aims to develop solders of suspensions with microparticles that have a metallization temperature up to 50% lower than previous ones, and to apply them to components locally where metallization is needed. Subsequently, the suspension is selectively heated with laser radiation so that a cohesive connection with the base material is formed as a thin metallization layer. In further steps, conventional joining can be carried out at low stress.

Project Information

Title “LaMeta” - Laserbasierte Metallisierung zum Fügen von hybriden Werkstoffkombinationen
Term 01.12.2018 – 30.11.2021
PROJECT SPONSOR Projektträger Jülich / Leitmarktagentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person Silja Rittinghaus

“LASHARE” – Laser equipment ASsessment for High impAct innovation in the manufactuRing European industry

LASHARE is the acronym of a European project involving more than 30 SMEs from across Europe, partners from industry and six of the most renowned laser research institutes.

Main objective is to share knowledge on laser-based equipment and its use addressing the whole value chain end to end. As a key success factor for European manufacturing the transfer of innovative solutions from the laboratory into industrially robust products and the dissemination of its use stands at the heart of the project.

 

Project Information

Title “LASHARE” – Laser equipment ASsessment for High impAct innovation in the manufactuRing European industry
Term 25.09.2013 - today
Supported by European Union
7th Framework Program: 609046
Website http://www.lashare.eu/
Contact Person M.Sc. Dipl.-Ing.(FH) B.Eng.(hon) Ulrich Thombansen

“NeuGenWaelz” – New Materials for the Additive Manufacturing of Roller Bearings

The goal of NeuGenWälz is the additive production of roller bearings by means of laser powder bed fusion (LPBF). To do this, the partners will develop materials and LPBF systems engineering in a coordinated and integrative way. The key challenge here is to develop a material that meets both the requirements of the roller bearing (high hardness to withstand mechanical stress) and, at the same time, that can be processed without cracks using LPBF. The crack-free processing will be supported by the use of a high temperature preheating at about 500 ° C.

Project Information

Title New Materials for the Additive Manufacturing of Roller Bearings - “NeuGenWälz”
Term 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2019
Project Sponsor LeitmarktAgentur NRW / Projektträger Jülich (PTJ)
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person M.Sc. Jasmin Saewe 

“ScanCut” – Laser Cutting in the Punching Process

Within the joint project ScanCut, four project partners are developing a hybrid manufacturing process for the high-precision laser cutting of thin-walled metal ribbons. For this purpose, Fraunhofer ILT has combined a helical-beam optic with a multi-beam module. The laser beam power is provided by a high-power USP beam source.

ScanCut is a joint project of KOSTAL Kontakt Systeme GmbH in Lüdenscheid, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, as well as Pulsar Photonics GmbH and Amphos GmbH, both of which are located in Herzogenrath.

Project Information

Title “ScanCut” –  Laser Cutting in the Punching Process
Term 01.03.2017 – 29.02.2020
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) 
Contact Person Dipl.-Ing. Frank Zibner

“SeQuLas” – Absorber-Free Laser Welding of Thermoplastics

The aim of the SeQuLas project is to develop a novel laser-based process technology that can weld thermoplastics without the use of absorbers. Using a continuously updating temperature field, the project partners will segment a seam contour and adapt the irradiation order and parameters during the welding process, thus achieving a defined energy input. This will contribute to increasing the flexibility and efficiency of industrial production in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Project Information

Title “SeQuLas” – Absorber-Free Laser Welding of Thermoplastics
Term 01.03.2017 – 30.09.2019
Project Sponsor LeitmarktAgentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) 
Website Leitmarktwettbewerb Produktion.NRW
Contact Person M.Sc. Phong Nguyen

“ultraSURFACE” – Ultra Dynamic Optical Systems for High Throughput Laser Surface Processing

Efficient Surface Treatment with the Laser

Whether they are used for functional structuring, coating or polishing, lasers have proved to be very advantageous tools that have made processes in many areas of industrial production significantly more cost-effective and robust. However, previous laser applications in industrial surface treatment often have limited throughput or are not suitable for more complex adjustments.

Funded by the European Union, the ultraSURFACE project focuses on optimizing optical systems with dynamic 3D applicability and on developing strategies for laser-based production processes with high-throughput. The project also helps to make manufacturing more environmentally friendly in Europe: The concepts under development reduce noise, dispersion dust, and the use of (toxic) chemicals as well as improve the CO2 balance by lowering emissions. Ten partners are involved in the project, which is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen.

New Optics Designs for Increased Throughput

In the ultraSURFACE project, scientists and industry partners are developing two new optical designs which allow users to adapt laser beam manipulation individually and to increase throughput by a factor of ten compared to conventional processes. To accomplish this, the partners use beam shaping and beam splitter optics for the laser. For laser polishing and coating, the beam shaping optics can be used to individually adapt the intensity profile of the laser radiation to local surface conditions. Furthermore, the surface can be processed simultaneously with several individual beams by means of the beam splitter optics for laser microstructuring.

The aim of the ultraSURFACE project is also to demonstrate that its processes can easily be used in manufacturing – the technologies developed here will later be integrated into a variety of industrial applications using appropriate prototypes. The new concepts will be tested and evaluated in laser polishing, laser thin-film processing and laser microstructuring. In addition to high-quality products for the automotive sector or for mechanical engineering in general, these concepts are also suitable for manufacturing consumer-market products. The new concepts of the ultraSURFACE project thus offer great potential for many industries – not only in the European laser market.

Project Information

Title “ultraSURFACE” – Ultra Dynamic Optical Systems for High Throughput Laser Surface Processing
Term 01.01.2016 - 30.06.2019
Project Sponsor European Union
Supported by Horizon 2020 – The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, No. 687222
Website www.ultrasurface.eu
Contact Person
Dr.-Ing. Edgar Willenborg