Heat Treatment

Our range of services

Laser heat treatment is used to locally functionalize components and semi-finished products. To improve wear protection, companies use lasers to harden steels for e.g. tools and molds. The precise and local heat input helps minimize distortion. To locally improve the formability of, for example, work-hardened metal sheets, they commonly turn to laser softening. This opens up new possibilities for forming complex components from high-strength cold-formed materials. Softening can also serve to improve the energy absorption for components that need to withstand crashes or to prevent components from failing due to brittle fracture. If required, temperature control during laser heat treatment ensures exact and reproducible results for series production.

The range of services this group offers includes feasibility studies on tasks tailored to customer requirements, the integration of laser heat treatment into production processes as well as consultancy in the design of processes and plants.

Local softening of cold rolled steel (in cooperation with BILSTEIN).
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Local softening of cold rolled steel (in cooperation with BILSTEIN).
Hardening of torsion springs.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Hardening of torsion springs.
Crash boxes without and with local softening (in cooperation with ibf, RTWH Aachen University).
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Crash boxes without and with local softening (in cooperation with ibf, RTWH Aachen University).

Laser hardening

  • Hardenable steels and cast iron
  • Wear protection of tools and molds
  • Wear protection of vehicle components

Laser softening

  • Hardened and work-hardened semi-finished products and sheet metal components
  • Softening for local improvement of cold workability
  • Softening of components relevant to crash protection

Process development

  • Customized solutions for laser hardening
  • Local softening of high strength sheet material and formed parts
  • Hybrid processes (e.g. cutting and softening)
  • Local heat treatment


  • Ultra high strength steels
  • Cold rolled steels
  • Non-ferrous metals

System technology

  • Consulting
  • Process installation at customer’s site
  • Cooperation with various laser and system providers


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


“Heat Treatment Using Laser Radiation“


“Material Development for Additive Manufacturing“


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!


Research with us!

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about general topics! Our contact persons are happy to get in touch with you.


Dahmen, M., Hama-Saleh Abdullah, R., Maischner, D., Meyer, P., Olowinsky, A.:
In-situ laser heat treatment during laser beam welding of dual-phase steels.
WLT/LiM Lasers in Manufacturing Conference 2023. 26. – 29. Juni 2023, München Germany.
Proceedings of World of Photonics, (12 S.), (2023).

Fink, S., Dahmen, L., Vedder, C., Stollenwerk, J.:
Laser-based, direct formation of thin copper-nickel alloy films with low thermal coefficient of resistivity.
JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS 132, 205301- (2022)

Baumgartner, J, Dahmen, M., Deniz, B., Häfner, C., Melz, T.: Meschut, G., Möller, B., Olfert, V., Reis. P.:
Studie zur fügetechnischen Absicherung und technischen Auslegung von Schweißverbindungen mit martensitischen Chromstählen.
FOSTA-Berichte P 1175, 199 S. (2021)

Vogt, S., Weisheit,A., Schleifenbaum, J.H.:
Local Laser Softening of Cold Forming Steels.
Journal of Laser Applications 32, 42020- (2020)

Kürnsteiner, P., Wilms, M. B., Weisheit, A., Gault, B., Jägle, E. A., Raabe, D.:
High-strength Damascus steel by additive manufacturing.
Nature 582, 515-519 (2020)

Völl, A., Wester, R., Berens, M., Buske, P., Stollenwerk, J., Loosen, P.:
Accounting for Laser Beam Characteristics in the Design of Free-form Optics for Laser Material Processing.
Advanced Optical Technologies 8, 279-287 (2019)

Go, D., Lott, P., Stollenwerk, J., Thomas, H., Moeller, M., Kuehne, A. J. C.:
Laser carbonization of PAN-nanofiber mats with enhanced surface area and porosity
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 8 (42), 28412-28417 (2016)

Vogt, S., Schneider, F., Weisheit, A., Flaischerowitz, M.:
Combined cutting and local heat treatment with laser radiation of ultra high strength press hardened steels
In: 5th International Conference "Hot Sheet Metal Forming of High-Performance Steel", CHS 2015
Proceedings: 31.05.-03.06.2015, Toronto, 629-637, (2015)
ISBN: 978-3-95735-023-7

Göttmann, A., Bailly, D., Bergweiler, G., Bambach, M., Stollenwerk, J., Hirt, G., Loosen, P.:
A novel approach for temperature control in ISF supported by laser and resistance heating
Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 67, 2195-2205 (2013)

Göttmann, A., Diettrich, J., Bergweiler, G., Bambach, M., Hirt, G., Loosen, P., Poprawe, R.:
Laser-assisted asymmetric incremental sheet forming of titanium sheet metal parts.
Prod. Eng. 5, Nr. 3, 263-271, 2011

Taleb Araghi, B., Göttmann, A., Bergweiler, G., Saeed-Akbari, A., Bültmann, J., Zettler, J., Bambach, M., Hirt, G.:
Investigation on incremental sheet forming combined with laser heating and stretch forming for the production of lightweight structures.
Key Eng. Mat. 473, 919-928, 2011

Taleb Araghi, B., Göttmann, A., Bambach, M., Hirt, G., Bergweiler, G., Diettrich, J., Steiners, M., Saeed-Akbari, A.:
Review on the development of a hybrid incremental sheet forming system for small batch sizes and individualized production.
Prod. Eng. 5, Nr. 4, 393-404, 2011

Weisheit, A., Bergweiler, G., Gebhardt, P., Wissenbach, K.:
Lokale Laserwärmebehandlung von hochfesten Stählen zur Verbesserung der Kaltumformeigenschaften.
31. EFB-Kolloquium Blechverarbeitung: Hochfeste und hybride Materialien, schnelle Umform- und Fügeverfahren. Bad Boll, 29. und 30.3.2011. Hannover: EFB (2011).
ISBN 978-3-86776-363-9

Bergweiler, G., Weisheit, A., Wissenbach, K., Kelbassa, I., Kopp, C.
Improvement of formability and performance of coated ultra-high-strength steels by local heat treatment using a high power diode laser
2. International Conference on Super-High Strength Steels. October 17-20, 2010, Peschiera del Garda (Verona), Italy. Milano: Assoziazione Italiana di Metallurgia. (CD). (12 S.) 2010

Grden, M., Sakklettibutra, J., Vollertsen, F., Johnigk, C., Emonts, M., Brecher, C., Eckert, M.
Prozessauslegung beim laserstrahlunterstützten Stanzen
Laser Technik J. 7(6), 36-41 2010

Heyde, M., Roll, K., Kawalla, R., Bergweiler, G., Kaiser, J.
Local heat treatment of ultra-high-strength steels - an opportunity to extend the range of car body components.
Tools and Technologies for the Processing of Ultrahigh Strength Steels 2010. 50th anniversary IDDRG (International Deep-Drawing Research Group) Conference, Graz, Austria, May 31-June 02, 2010, Graz: Verl. d. Techn. Univ. (10 S.), 2010.
ISBN 978-3851251081

Taleb-Araghi, B., Goettmann, A., Bambach, M., Biermann, T., Hirt, G., Weisheit, A.
Development of hybrid incremental sheet forming processes
Steel Research Int. 81(9) (special ed. 2010), No 419 (4 S.), (2010)

Biermann, T., Goettmann, A., Zettler, J., Bambach, M., Weisheit, A., Hirt, G., Poprawe, R.:
Hybrid laser assisted incremental sheet forming - improving formability of Ti- and Mg-based alloys
Proc. of the 5th Int. WLT Conf. on Lasers in Manufacturing 2009, Munich, June 15th-18th, 2009. Ed. by A. Ostendorf [u.a.], Stuttgart: AT-Fachverlag, 273-278, (2009)

Pirch, N., Wissenbach, K.:
Mechanisms during laser bending
J. Laser Appl., 20(3), 135-139, 2008

Johnigk, C.:
Berührungslos - präzise – steuerbar
MO Metalloberfläche, 61, 24-27, 2007

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