High power lasers can be used to produce many different types of surface structures, including optically absorbing nano-structures; controllably oxidised surfaces (markings of different colours); polished surfaces and self-organised nano-gratings. These different process regimes are dependent on the laser parameters (in particular pulse length, pulse shape, spatial beam shape, intensity).
In this project we are developing the capability to engineer the widest range of surfaces, but with processes that can be scaled up to appropriate manufacturing rates. In some cases these surfaces will be manufactured to have particular optical qualities (absorption; reflection; spectral or birefringence properties), whilst in others it is the wetting, friction or tactile properties that are important. There is a particular focus on the example application of steel surfaces with enhanced frictional properties, driven by the requirements of MAN Diesel and Turbo, who are seeking to replace an existing thermal spray process that has significant quality control issues. The pulsed laser products of SPI have been found to be particularly effective in generating high friction surfaces.
For more information contact Professor Duncan Hand, email@example.com.