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Laser structuring

During structuring, the laser creates regularly arranged geometries in the layer or in the base material, so that the technical characteristics are changed in a targeted manner and a new functionality is developed. One example: scoring or applying small (oil) depressions for defined sliding properties. The individual elements in such structures often measure only a few micrometers. Short laser pulses with very high pulse power generate such high energy densities that the material usually evaporates immediately (sublimation). Each laser pulse produces a small depression, melt is predominately prevented.

Certain properties are generated by laser structuring which, for example, have an effect on the friction characteristics or electric and thermal conductivity. In addition, laser structuring increases the adhesive strength and longevity of the workpiece.

What are the benefits of laser structuring of surfaces?

Environmentally friendly

No additional blasting agents or chemical substances which would prove elaborate and expensive are needed for structuring surfaces.

Reproducible and precise

The laser achieves controlled structures, precise down to the micrometer and which are very easy to reproduce.

Low-maintenance

Compared to mechanical tools which can wear out quickly, the laser is non-contact and therefore absolutely wear-free.

No post-processing

No melt or other processing residue is left on the component with laser processing.

How does the laser structuring procedure work with metal?

In laser structuring, regularly arranged geometries are generated in surfaces in a reproducible way using laser radiation (usually pulsed). The laser beam melts the material in a controlled manner and solidifies into a defined structure thanks to appropriate process management.

1. The laser radiation hits the workpiece surface.
2. The laser radiation heats the absorbing material.
3. Structures are generated as the melt solidifies.

Optimal preparation of bonding surfaces thanks to laser cleaning and laser structuring

Ask the Expert: Laser structuring

Our expert explains how laser structuring works, where it can be used and what equipment you need for it. 

Typical laser structuring applications

Adhesion and long-term stability of the bonded connection due to laser cleaning and structuring

When bonding, surface pretreatment and preparation with a laser is an important part of the process chain and an effective and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional preparation procedures. Cleaning and structuring: TRUMPF; adhesive: DELO.

Laser structuring for adhesive bonding preparation

Adhesive bonding technologies require clean and slightly textured surfaces. Structuring and cleaning are carried out in one process step with the laser before adhesive bonding – locally at the seam joint. Better wettability is achieved with the adhesive agent thanks to structuring. This increases the adhesion and long-term stability of the bonded connection. This laser process can be easily integrated into automated production lines.

Laser structuring a connecting rod

The tribological characteristics of functional surfaces can be improved precisely with laser structuring. This procedure is used in the production of automotive components.

Structuring for frictional and form-locking metal-plastic connections

The laser creates microstructures in the metallic mating part with undercuts which facilitate the plastic gripping into the metallic surface. This procedure is used in the production of automotive components or white goods, for example. Hybrid metal-plastic connections are playing an increasingly important role in lightweight design since they combine the high strength and rigidity of metals with the low weight and great design freedom of plastics.

Structuring for frictional and form-locking connections in heat exchangers

The laser creates microstructures in the metallic mating part with undercuts which facilitate the plastic gripping into the metallic surface. Such connections are used in cooling heating systems, for example the battery system cooling in the battery pack. It provides optimum operating conditions.

These lasers are suitable for laser structuring

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Laser structuring of copper busbars: Reduce your electrical losses in seconds
Efficiency is crucial in the world of electromobility. Small details like copper contacts can have a significant impact on the range and performance of electric vehicles. Conventional bolting methods lead to high contact resistance and energy loss. But TRUMPF has the solution: special lasers are used to precisely structure copper busbars, remove old oxide layers and create a new protective layer. The result? Significant reduction in losses and huge potential for increasing the efficiency of e-mobility worldwide.

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E-mobility made with TRUMPF lasers
E-mobility made with TRUMPF lasers

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