Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Lasers put a shine on metals

Abstract:
Polishing metal surfaces is a demanding but monotonous task, and it is difficult to find qualified young specialists. Polishing machines do not represent an adequate alternative because they cannot get to difficult parts of the surface. A new solution is provided by laser polishers.

Lasers put a shine on metals

Aachen, Germany | Posted on November 14th, 2009

Jobs are in short supply, and yet some sectors have difficulty in finding suitable trainees for specialist tasks, such as polishing injection molds. The work is time-consuming and monotonous but requires highest levels of concentration, because any blemish in the mold can render it useless. A skilled worker may often need a whole week to polish a single metal mold. Up to now it has not been possible to use machines for this dreary work because they cannot get into the curved shapes.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen have developed a way of automating the polishing work: "We do not polish the surface by hand with grinding and polishing media. Instead we use a laser," explains Dr.-Ing. Edgar Willenborg, group leader at the ILT. "The laser beam melts the surface to a depth of about 50 to 100 micrometers. Surface tension ensures that the liquid metal flows evenly and solidifies smoothly." Like in conventional grinding and polishing, the process is repeated with increasing degrees of fineness. In the first stage the researchers melt the surface to a depth of about 100 micrometers, in further steps they gradually reduce the depth. "We can set the melting depth by means of various parameters: the laser output, the speed at which the laser beam travels along the surface and the length of the laser pulses," states Willenborg. Laser polishing does not achieve the same surface smoothness as perfect hand polishing - hand polishers can achieve a roughness Ra of 5 nanometers, the laser at present can only manage 50 nanometers - but Willenborg still sees considerable market potential for the system. "We will concentrate on automating the medium grades: a roughness of 50 nanometers is adequate for many applications, including the molds used for making standard plastic parts." The high-end levels of smoothness will therefore remain the domain of skilled hand polishers.

The time gained by laser polishing and the cost saving achieved are enormous. Whereas a skilled polisher needs about 10 to 30 minutes for each square centimeter, the laser polishes the same area in about a minute. A prototype of the laser polishing machine developed by the scientists in cooperation with mechanical engineering firm Maschinenfabrik Arnold has already been built.

Willenborg estimates that the system will be ready for industrial use in one to two years' time. At the Euromold trade show, to be held from December 2 to 5 in Frankfurt, the researchers will be presenting examples of three-dimensional surfaces polished by laser (Hall 8, Stand M114).

####

About Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
60 years ago, on March 26, 1949, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft was founded in the large conference hall of the Bavarian Ministry of the Economy. At the time, the idea was to develop new structures for research after the war's destruction, and to spur reconstruction of the economy.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr.-Ing. Edgar Willenborg
Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik (ILT)
Steinbachstr. 15
52074 Aachen
Phone 0241/8906-213

Copyright © Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Silicene Labs Announces the Launch of Patent-Pending, 2D Materials Composite Index™ : The Initial 2D Materials Composite Index™ for Q2 2014 Is: 857.3; Founders Include World-Renowned Physicist and Seasoned Business and IP Professionals July 24th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Transparent Nanocomposite Coatings with Longer Lifetime July 24th, 2014

Deadline Announced for Registration in 7th Int'l Nanotechnology Festival in Iran July 23rd, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Jobs

Secretary Vilsack Announces Partnership to Advance Commercial Potential of Cellulosic Nanomaterial from Wood December 11th, 2013

Cutting Away at the NRC's Research Capability December 6th, 2013

Project aims to mass-produce 'nanopetals' for sensors, batteries October 22nd, 2013

Governor Cuomo Announces 'Nano Utica' $1.5 Billion Public-Private Investment That Will Make the Mohawk Valley New York's Next Major Hub of Nanotech Research October 12th, 2013

Announcements

Silicene Labs Announces the Launch of Patent-Pending, 2D Materials Composite Index™ : The Initial 2D Materials Composite Index™ for Q2 2014 Is: 857.3; Founders Include World-Renowned Physicist and Seasoned Business and IP Professionals July 24th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Transparent Nanocomposite Coatings with Longer Lifetime July 24th, 2014

Deadline Announced for Registration in 7th Int'l Nanotechnology Festival in Iran July 23rd, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Industrial

Iranian Scientists Produce Transparent Nanocomposite Coatings with Longer Lifetime July 24th, 2014

Compact Vibration Harvester Power Supply with Highest Efficiency Opens Door to “Fix-and-Forget” Sensor Nodes July 23rd, 2014

Non-Enzyme Sensor Detects Lead, Hydrogen Peroxide July 10th, 2014

New Method Introduced for Synthesis of Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles July 5th, 2014

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity July 19th, 2014

Future Electronics May Depend on Lasers, Not Quartz July 17th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE