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Process development for direct surface modification or texture transfer processes
Development of the process of laser based surface modification for the generation of functional surfaces (wettability, antibacterial, antiice, tribology, etc... ) directly on a component, through replication or through laser modified coatings. The component is expected to have a simple shape, either flat or with small curvature, and materials range from metals, polymers, composites and ceramics.
The target functionality and realistic goals will be discussed with the customer, as well as the characteristics and specifications of the part and materials. Based on this information, a first filtering of laser source (wavelenght, temporal and spatial distribution of the beam, ...) and technique (scanning, interference, etc...) will be done and basic experiments on flat samples will be performed to identify the adequate combination and a first approximation of the parametric space.
Then, on simplified or actual components, tests will be performed to optimize the process towards the target functionality of the surface.
The consulting process will result in a report including the process design and parametric window which provides the functionality or an acceptable approximation, together with recommendations on how to scale it industrially and how to properly adopt the technology in further steps. It can include visits to the testing facilities and/or a short training activity for the customer.
Clear definition and quantification of the target functionality, mutual understanding of the limits and constrains of the development, and agreement on the precise objectives and outcomes expected from the following phases. Initial identification, on the side of AIMEN, of the equipment to be used in the first testing phase, based on experience and available bibliography.
Identify the right laser source, technique and broad parametric space to process the target material.
Experiments on the decided samples (either mockups or final parts, as decided), within the limits established in the prior experimental phase (type of laser, parametric range, etc...), and the experimentation concentrates in precise sensibility analysis, the effect of complementary issues (initial surface condition, atmosphere, plasma suppression), solution to specific complexities (curved surfaces, part-to-part variabilities, ...) and strategies for productivity improvements.
Produce demonstrator parts for the target industrial parts