Plastics Processing

Our Service

The demands on laser processes in the field of plastics technology are manifold. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has developed and qualified individual processes for the welding, cutting, drilling, structuring and marking of plastics all the way to turnkey production systems. Since these laser processes can be automated well and place the energy input at a specific location, they open up new possibilities in the design of innovative plastic products and production processes.

The spectrum of services the group offers encompasses feasibility studies, customer-specific tasks as well as the integration of laser processes in production lines. This includes consultation on solving acute production problems and developing application-specific special optics as well as selecting and adapting suitable beam sources and machine systems.

Welding of transparent plastics without absorber additives (PC).
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Welding of transparent plastics without absorber additives (PC).
Remote laser cutting of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP).
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Remote laser cutting of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP).
Machine systems for laser processing of plastics.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Machine systems for laser processing of plastics.

Laser beam welding in a combination of transparent and absorbent

  • Characterization of optical properties of the joining partners
  • Design of the weld seam geometry
  • Process development and application testing

Absorber-free transparent and film welding

  • Selection of suitable laser wavelength depending on material properties
  • Development of clamping technology
  • Plant integration

Welding of fiber-reinforced plastics

  • Robot-guided, flexible clamping device with integrated processing optics
  • Design of optical systems taking into account the scattering in the material

Laser-based hybrid plastic-metal connection

  • Load-bearing design of the joining geometry
  • Test and Trial

Removal, drilling and cutting of plastics

  • Cutting with CO2 laser and fiber laser
  • Ablation and drilling with different aspect ratios
  • Application-specific feasibility studies

Quality assurance in plastic welding

  • Pyrometric process monitoring
  • Thermography

Simulation of laser processes

  • Thermal simulation
  • Load analysis and structural-mechanical simulation
  • Beam propagation in scattering materials

Systems engineering

  • Welding machines
  • Cutting systems
  • Thermal and optical process monitoring systems
  • Plant integration
  • Process simulation


Brochures and Flyers

Our brochures and flyers offer a quick view onto the service portfolio “Plastics Processing “. Find more detailed information in the “project results“ tab.


Brochure “Lasers in Plastics Technology“


Brochure “Laser Processing of Composites“


Flyer “Laser Welding of Thermoplastic Fiber-Composite Components“



Technology Demonstrator Polymer Processing


Cutting of Thermoplastic Composites


Laser Transmission Welding of Absorber-Free Plastics


Laser technology can solve demanding tasks in many different industries. Whether as a tool in automotive production, as measuring equipment in the environmental sector, as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument in medical technology or as a communication medium in space technology, the laser provides multiple uses with high productivity and high efficiency.

Read up about the innovations of the Fraunhofer ILT in a few selected industries and convince yourself!


Brosda, M., Olowinsky, A., Pelzer, A.
Improvement of Energy Deposition in Absorber-free Laser Welding through Quasi-simultaneous Irradiation
Physics Procedia 83, 472-482 (2016)
LANE 2016, Proceedings of the LANE 2016, Fürth, Germany

Engelmann, C., Eckstaedt,J., Olowinsky, A., Aden,M., Mamuschkin, V.
Lasertechnik für industrielle Leichtbauanwendungen
Kunststoffe Nr 5, 34-38 (2016)

van der Straeten, K., Burkhardt, I, Olowinsky, A., Gillner, A.:
Influence of carbon black and indium tin oxide absorber particles on laser transmission welding
Opt. Laser Technol. 69, 87-91 (2015)

Brosda, M., Mamuschkin, V., Olowinsky, A.:
Laserwelding of transparent polymer films
LIM 2015 Lasers in Manufacturing, Munich, June 22-25, (5. pg.) (2015)

Cosson, B., Deléglise, M., Knapp, W.:
Numerical analysis of thermoplastic composites laser welding using ray tracing method
Composites Part B 68, 85-91 (2015)

Engelmann, C., Eckstädt, J., Olowinsky, A., Aden, M., Mamuschkin, V.:
Examination of the bond strength of laser assisted plastic-metal-joints considering different load directions
LAMP 2015 – the 7th International Congress on Laser Advanced Materials Processing, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan,(6 S.) (2015)

Engelmann, C., van der Straeten, K., Mamuschkin, V., Olowinsky, A.:
Laserbasierte Fügeverfahren für faserverstärkte Kunststoffe

Große Schweißtechnische Tagung, DVS Congress,
Nürnberg 14.-17. September 2015. 1-5 (2015)

Mamuschkin, V., Engelmann, C., Aden, M., Olowinsky, A.:
Comparison of different irradiation methods in absorber-free laser transmission welding
LAMP 2015 – the 7th International Congress on Laser Advanced Materials Processing. Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan, May 26-29, 2015. (6 S.) (2015)

Mamuschkin, V., Olowinsky, A., van der Straeten, K., Engelmann, C.:
Laser transmission welding of absorber-free thermoplastics using dynamic beam superposition
Proc. SPIE 9356, 93560Y (8 S.) (2015)

van der Straeten, K., Engelmann, C., Olowinsky, A., Gillner, A.:
Laser transmission welding of long glass fiber reinforced thermoplastics
Proc. SPIE 9356, 93560H (7 S.) (2015)

van der Straeten, K., Engelmann, C.:
Laserbasierte Fügeverfahren
Lightweight Design Nr 2, 10-15 (2015)

Hopmann, C., Böttcher, A., van der Straeten, K., Riedel, R., Schneider, F., Engelmann, C., Fischer, K.:
Neue Prozesskette für faserverstärkte Thermoplaste
WT Werkstattstechnik Online 104 (9), 575-580 (2014)

Jänchen, R., Brosda, M., Wendt, G., Olowinsky, A.:
Mit Licht - flexibel und dicht
Pack Report, 46-49 (2014)

Mamuschkin, V., Olowinsky, A., Britten, S., Engelmann, C.:
Investigations on laser transmission welding of absorber-free thermoplastics
Proc. SPIE  8968, 1-9 (2014)

Aden, M., Mamuschkin, V., Olowinsky, A., Glaser, S.:
Influence of Titanium dioxide pigments on the optical properties of polycarbonate and polypropylene for diode laser wavelengths
J. Appl. Polymer Sci. (early view) 2013 (5 S.)

Aden, M.,  Liviany, F., Olowinsky, A.:
Joint strength for laser transmission welding of thermoplastics: A simulation approach
International Polymer Processing 28, 79-83 (2013)

Rösner, A.:
Der Laser verbindet Kunststoffe mit metallischen Bauteilen
MM Maschinenmarkt Nr. 18, 36-38 (2013)

Rösner, A., Olowinsky, A.:
Laser welding of polymers
Ind. Laser Sol. 28 (1), 29-31 (2013)

Binetruy, C., Clement, S., Deleglise, M., Franz, C., Knapp, W., Oumarou, M., Renard, J., Roesner, A.:
Glue-free assembly of glass fiber reinforced thermoplastics using laser light.
Proc. SPIE 8065, 80650U, 7 S., 2011

Roesner, A., Scheik, S., Olowinsky, A., Gillner, A., Poprawe, R., Schleser, M., Reisgen, U.:
Innovative approach of joining hybrid components.
J. Laser Appl. 23, Nr. 3, 32007, 6 S., 2011

Roesner, A., Scheik, S., Olowinsky, A., Gillner, A., Reisgen, U., Schleser, M.:
Laser assisted joining of plastic metal hybrids.
Phys. Proced. 12, 373-380, 2011

Aden, M., Roesner, A., Olowinsky, A.:
Optical characterization of polycarbonate: Influence of additives on optical properties
J. Polymer Science. Part B: Polymer Physics 48, Nr 4, 451-455

Boglea, A., Olowinsky, A., Gillner, A.:
Extending the limits of laser polymer welding using advanced irradiation strategies.
J. Laser Micro/Nanoeng. 5, 138-144, 2010

Holtkamp, J., Roesner, A., Gillner, A.:
Advances in hybrid laser joining
Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 47, 923-930, 2010

G. L. Georgiev, T. Sultana, R. J. Baird, G. Auner, G. Newaz, R. Patwa, H. Herfurth:
Laser bonding and characterization of Kapton(A (R)) FNTi and Teflon(A (R)) FEPTi systems
J. Mat. Sci 44, 882-888, 2009

A. Roesner, P. Abels, A. Olowinsky, N. Matsuo, A. Hino:
Absorber-free laser beam welding of transparent thermoplastics
Proc. of the 27th Int. Conf. on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics 2008, ICALEO, Temecula, CA, October 20-23
Paper M303, 7 S., 2008

F. Sari, W.-M. Hoffmann, E. Haberstroh, R. Poprawe:
Applications of laser transmission processes for the joining of plastics, silicon and glass micro parts
Microsystems Technol. 14, 1879-1886, 2008

K. Bobzin, S. Theiß, R. Poprawe, A. Roesner, E. Haberstroh, D. Flock, U. Reisgen, N. Wagner:
Der Exzellenzcluster "Integrative Produktionstechnik für Hochlohnländer" der RWTH Aachen University - Herstellung hybrider Metall-Kunststoffbauteile durch moderne Fügeverfahren
Joining Plastics – Fügen von Kunststoffen 2, 210-216, 2008

A. Roesner, A. Boglea, A. Olowinsky:
Laserdurchstrahlschweissen von Thermoplasten
Laser Technik J. 5, Nr 4, 28-32, 2008

P. Abels, A. Roesner, S. Kaierle, S. Mann, A. Olowinsky, N. Matsuo, A. Hino:
Various process monitoring approaches of transparent thermoplastics laser beam welding
Proc. of the 27th Int. Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics 2008, ICALEO, Temecula, CA, USA, October 20-23, 2008, 99-104, 2008

C. Franz, S. Mann, S. Kaierle:
Comparison of process monitoring strategies for laser transmission welding of plastics
Proc. of ICALEO 2007, Orlando, Fl. 602-606, 2007

ALasKA e.V.

The ALasKA workgroup for laser and plastics (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Laser- und Kunststoffanwendungen ALasKA e.V.) consists of ten companies from diverse areas of the plastics industry.
They include raw material suppliers and plastics manufacturers, pigment and additive manufacturers, compound and masterbatch manufacturers, product developers and consultants, injection molders, laser manufacturers, laser component suppliers, and plant designers.

Through targeted information events, publications, lecture series, and trade show appearances, ALasKA helps to spread the knowledge and use of laser technology in the plastics processing industry. The non-profit association provides the link between potential users and the necessary specialist expertise.



The Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production AZL

Logo des AZL Aachener Zentrum für Integrativen Leichtbau

As a member of AZL, the Fraunhofer ILT is actively involved in the development of innovative production technologies for the lightweight production. Find more information at the AZL website

An image video of AZL can be found at our media center.

German Welding Society DVS

Deutscher Verband für Schweißen und verwandte Verfahren e.V.

Our services cover a wide range of topics. Related topics to plastics processing and further research and development focuses can be found under the following links.