Our company works on surface texturing using laser technology to provide components with specific functionality and make materials with adequate surface properties. The major application area but not limited as footwear, mold and metallurgy sector, etc.
Laser surface texturing (LST) is a surface engineering process used to improve tribological characteristics of materials. Using a laser to create patterned microstructures on the surface of the materials can improve load capacity, wear rates, lubrication lifetime, and reduce friction coefficients.
LST is a materials process used to create patterned microstructures on the contact surface of the work piece. While different patterns can be used, the common microstructures are linear grooves, crossed grooves, and circular dimple-like depressions. These microstructures function to improve tribological characteristics in several manners.
Laser surface texturing has many benefits that could potentially save enormous amounts of energy and improve efficiencies of many mechanical systems. The most obvious benefit is a reduction of friction. As the field is relatively new, the number of variables in a LST application allow for a range of reported reductions of friction.
Another benefit is an improvement of fatigue life. The microcavities act as debris traps, saving small loose particles from initiating microfissures and damage. It has been observed that wear life of a component treated with LST has fatigue lifetime improvements of upwards of three times longer than a standard component.
In addition, by generating a microstructure on the surface it is also possible to control adhesion. This allows to manufacture functional surfaces controlled and tailored with application in different industrial sectors such as footwear, automotive, decoration, health, energy and sensors. These textured surfaces can reduce friction between surfaces subjected to continuous contact; increase the hydrophobia of a surface to make it super hydrophobic and provide it with self-cleaning properties.