Laser-based manufacturing processes are one of the key competencies of the Fraunhofer Group for Light & Surfaces.
Thanks to their expertise in the joining processes of laser welding, laser soldering and laser bonding, the group’s institutes cover large areas of industrial applications for the automotive industry, electrical engineering and electronics, medical technology, aircraft industry, mechanical engineering and other areas. The services they offer range from feasibility studies to process validation all the way to integrating laser joining processes into industrial production. For this purpose, the institutes have a wide range of equipment: from diode lasers, disk and fiber lasers to CO2 lasers in the power range up to 20 kW.
In the field of ablative laser processes, the group’s institutes have a broad range of know-how in the fields of:
- laser-beam cutting
- laser-beam drilling
- laser-beam ablation
The institutes address classical fields, such as cutting with CO2 lasers, as well as new topics, such as cutting and drilling with fiber and disk lasers. Especially in the field of ablation and structuring with ultra-short pulse lasers, the institutes cover a wide spectrum of beam sources and processing technologies.
In the strongly expanding field of additive manufacturing, the group is pursuing the development of the following processes:
- selective laser melting,
- laser metal deposition
- stereolithography as well as multiphoton lithography
They address issues involving material engineering as well as process and system engineering. Their focus is on increasing productivity and quality. For the biomedical field, they are also developing laser-based processes for the printing of living cells to produce biological and biohybrid implants.
As a tool that can be deployed selectively, the laser is particularly suitable for the selective functionalization of materials. The group’s institutes work here both with thermal methods, such as laser hardening and laser coating, as well as with non-thermal methods, in which a function change is caused solely by photonic action.