Influence of Bulk Temperature on Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures on Polycarbonate

Results of the work in the Laser4Fun project has been published as:

Marek Mezera, Jörn Bonse, Gert-willem Römer. Influence of Bulk Temperature on Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures on Polycarbonate. Polymers 201911(12), 1947; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121947

Abstract

In this paper, the influence of the bulk temperature (BT) of Polycarbonate (PC) on the occurrence and growth of Laser-induced Periodic Surface Structures (LIPSS) is studied. Ultrashort UV laser pulses with various laser peak fluence levels F0 and various numbers of overscans (NOS) were applied on the surface of pre-heated Polycarbonate at different bulk temperatures. Increased BT leads to a stronger absorption of laser energy by the Polycarbonate. For NOS<1000 High Spatial Frequency LIPSS (HSFL), Low Spatial Frequency LIPSS perpendicular (LSFL-I) and parallel (LSFL-II) to the laser polarization were only observed on the rim of the ablated tracks on the surface but not in the center of the tracks. For NOS≥1000 , it was found that when pre-heating the polymer to a BT close its glass transition temperature ( Tg ), the laser fluence to achieve similar LIPSS as when processed at room temperature decreases by a factor of two. LSFL types I and II were obtained on PC at a BT close to Tg and their periods and amplitudes were similar to typical values found in the literature. To the best of the author’s knowledge, it is the first time both LSFL types developed simultaneously and consistently on the same sample under equal laser processing parameters. The evolution of LIPSS from HSFL, over LSFL-II to LSFL I, is described, depending on laser peak fluence levels, number of pulses processing the spot and bulk temperature.

Experimental investigation of processing disturbances in laser surface patterning.

Results of the work in the Laser4Fun project has been published as:

Antonio Garcia-Giron, Jean-Michel Romano, Afif Batal, Aleksandra Michalek, Pavel Penchev and Stefan Dimov. Experimental investigation of processing disturbances in laser surface patterning. Optics and Lasers in Engineering (2020) 126, 105900. doi: 10.1016/j.optlaseng.2019.105900.

Abstract

Laser surface patterning has attracted a significant interest from industry and research due to its promising applications in surface functionalisation. However, there are specific issues and limitations associated with the beam delivery, especially when processing 3-D surfaces and/or setting up routines for executing complex multi-axis processing strategies. In particular, there are common processing disturbances that affect the resulting surface topographies and profiles and their respective functional responses, i.e. geometrical distortions of resulting surface patterns, focal offset distance (FOD) and variations of beam incident angle (BIA). A method to investigate the effects of these factors in laser patterning 3-D surfaces is presented in this research, especially how their effects can be analysed independently by conducting empirical studies on planar surfaces. A pilot implementation of the proposed methodology is reported for producing channel-like patterns on stainless steel plates with a super-hydrophobic functional response. The results are discussed in detail to show how the effects of processing disturbances on topographies, profiles and areal parameters together with the respective functional responses of patterned planar surfaces can be analysed and then used to set constraints in pre-processing 3-D surfaces for follow up laser patterning.

Correlating nano-scale surface replication accuracy and cavity temperature in micro-injection moulding using in-line process control and high-speed thermal imaging.

Results of the work in the Laser4Fun project has been published as:

Federico Baruffi, Mert Gulcur, Matteo Calaon, Jean-Michel Romano, Pavel Penchev, Stefan Dimov, Ben R. Whiteside and Guido Tosello. Correlating nano-scale surface replication accuracy and cavity temperature in micro-injection moulding using in-line process control and high-speed thermal imaging. Journal of Manufacturing Processes (2019) 47, 367-381.
doi: 10.1016/j.jmapro.2019.08.017.

Abstract

Micro-injection moulding (μIM) stands out as preferable technology to enable the mass production of polymeric components with micro- and nano-structured surfaces. One of the major challenges of these processes is related to the quality assurance of the manufactured surfaces: the time needed to perform accurate 3D surface acquisitions is typically much longer than a single moulding cycle, thus making impossible to integrate in-line measurements in the process chain. In this work, the authors proposed a novel solution to this problem by defining a process monitoring strategy aiming at linking sensitive in-line monitored process variables with the replication quality. A nano-structured surface for antibacterial applications was manufactured on a metal insert by laser structuring and replicated using two different polymers, polyoxymethylene (POM) and polycarbonate (PC). The replication accuracy was determined using a laser scanning confocal microscope and its dependence on the variation of the main μIM parameters was studied using a Design of Experiments (DoE) experimental approach. During each process cycle, the temperature distribution of the polymer inside the cavity was measured using a high-speed infrared camera by means of a sapphire window mounted in the movable plate of the mould. The temperature measurements showed a high level of correlation with the replication performance of the μIM process, thus providing a fast and effective way to control the quality of the moulded surfaces in-line.

Lotus-leaf inspired surfaces: hydrophobicity evolution of replicas due to mechanical cleaning and tool wear

Results of the work in the Laser4Fun project has been published as:

Jean-Michel Romano, Antonio Garcia-Giron, Pavel Penchev, Mert Gulcur, Ben R. Whiteside, Stefan Dimov. Lotus-leaf inspired surfaces: hydrophobicity evolution of replicas due to mechanical cleaning and tool wear. 3rd World Congress on Micro and Nano Manufacturing (September 2019), 289-292.

Abstract

Inspired from the dewetting properties of Lotus leaves, the fabrication of dual micro/nano-scale topographies is of interest for many applications. In this research, superhydrophobic surfaces are fabricated by a process chain combining ultrashort pulsed laser texturing of steel inserts and injection moulding to produce polypropylene parts. This manufacturing route is very promising and could be economically viable for mass production of polymeric parts with superhydrophobic properties. However, surface damages, such as wear and abrasion phenomena, can be detrimental to the attractive wetting properties of replicated textured surfaces. Therefore, the final product lifetime is investigated by mechanical cleaning of the textured polypropylene surface with multipurpose cloths following the ASTM D3450 standard. Secondly, the surface damage of replication masters after 350 injection moulding cycles with glass-fiber reinforced polypropylene, to intensify tool wear, was investigated. The degradation of surface textures on replicas had a clear impact on surface topography and thus on their wetting properties.

Award for Vittorio Vercillo at SAE conference

Last June, the SAE International Conference on Icing of Aircraft, Engines, and Structures took place in Minneapolis (USA). New trends, new knowledge, and new solutions were discussed in more than 160 oral presentations that dive into every aspect of icing. Vittorio Vercillo, an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) in the Laser4Fun project, was awarded of the Outstanding Oral Presentation Award, for his contribution “Icephobic Properties of Laser-Treated Superhydrophobic Surfaces”.

More info at: https://www.sae.org/participate/awards/sae-engineering-meetings-board-outstanding-oral-presentation-award

The Role of the Surface Nano-Roughness on the Wettability Performance of Microstructured Metallic Surface Using Direct Laser Interference Patterning

Results of the work in the Laser4Fun project has been published as:

Alfredo I. Aguilar-Morales, Sabri Alamri, Bogdan Voisiat, Tim Kunze and Andrés F. Lasagni. Nano-Roughness on the Wettability Performance of Microstructured Metallic Surface Using Direct Laser Interference Patterning. Materials 2019, 12(17), 2737.

Abstract

Superhydrophobic natural surfaces usually have multiple levels of structure hierarchy, particularly microstructures covered with nano-roughness. The multi-scale nature of such a surface reduces the wetting of water and oils, and supports self-cleaning properties. In this work, in order to broaden our understanding of the wetting properties of technical surfaces, biomimetic surface patterns were fabricated on stainless steel with single and multi-scale periodic structures using direct laser interference patterning (DLIP). Micropillars with a spatial period of 5.5 µm and a structural depth of 4.2 µm were fabricated and covered by a sub-micro roughness by using ultrashort laser pulses, thus obtaining a hierarchical geometry. In order to distinguish the influence of the different features on the wettability behavior, a nanosecond laser source was used to melt the nano-roughness, and thus to obtain single-scale patterns. Then, a systematic comparison between the single- and multi-scale structures was performed. Although, the treated surfaces showed hydrophilic behavior directly after the laser treatment, over time they reached a steady-state hydrophobic condition. However, the multi-scale structured metal showed a contact angle 31° higher than the single-scale geometry when the steady-state conditions were reached. Furthermore, the impact of the surface chemistry was investigated by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses. Finally, a hydrophobizing agent was applied to the laser treated samples in order to further enhance the water contact angles and to determine the pure contribution of the surface topography. In the latter case, the multi-scale periodic microstructures reached static contact angles of 152° ± 2° and a contact angle hysteresis of only 4° ± 2°, while the single-scale structures did not show superhydrophobic behavior. These results definitely suggest that multi-scale DLIP structures in conjunction with a surface chemistry modification can promote a superhydrophobic regime.

Link

https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12172737

Fabricating Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures on Medical Grade Cobalt–Chrome–Molybdenum: Tribological, Wetting and Leaching Properties

Results of the work in the Laser4Fun project has been published as:

van der Poel, S.H., Mezera, M., Römer, G.R.B.E., de Vries, E.G., Matthews, D.T.A., Fabricating Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures on Medical Grade Cobalt–Chrome–Molybdenum: Tribological, Wetting and Leaching Properties. Lubricants  2019, 7(8), 70. 

Abstract

Hip-implants structured with anti-bacterial textures should show a low-friction coefficient and should not leach hazardous substances into the human body. The surface of a typical material used for hip-implants, namely Cobalt–Chrome–Molybdenum (CoCrMo) was textured with different types of laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS)—i.e., low spatial frequency LIPSS (LSFL), hierarchical structures consisting of grooves superimposed with high spatial frequency LIPSS (HSFL) and Triangular shaped Nanopillars (TNP)—using a picosecond pulsed laser source. The effect of LIPSS on the wettability, friction, as well as wear of the structures, when slid against a polyethylene (PE) counter surface and biocompatibility was analyzed. Surfaces covered with LSFL show superhydrophobicity and grooves with superimposed HSFL, as well as TNP, show hydrophobic behavior. The coefficient of friction (CoF) of LIPSS against a polyethylene (PE) counter surface was found to be higher (ranging from 0.40 to 0.66) than the CoF of (polished) CoCrMo, which was found to equal 0.22. It was found that the samples release cobalt within biocompatible limits. Compared to polished reference surfaces, LIPSS cause higher friction of CoCrMo against PE contact. However, the wear of the PE counter surface only increased significantly for the LSFL textures. For these reasons, it is concluded that LIPSS are not suitable for a heavily loaded metal-on-plastic bearing contact.

Link

https://doi.org/10.3390/lubricants7080070

Springtail-Inspired Triangular Laser-Induced Surface Textures on Metals Using MHz Ultrashort Pulses

Results of the work in the Laser4Fun project has been published as:

Romano, J.M., Helbig, R., Fraggelakis, F., Garcia-Giron, A., Werner, C., Kling, R., Dimov, S., Springtail-Inspired Triangular Laser-Induced Surface Textures on Metals Using MHz Ultrashort Pulses. J. Micro Nano-Manuf  2019, 7(2), 024504. 

Abstract

Considering the attractive surface functionalities of springtails (Collembola), an attempt at mimicking their cuticular topography on metals is proposed. An efficient single-step manufacturing process has been considered, involving laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) generated by near-infrared femtosecond laser pulses. By investigating the influence of number of pulses and pulse fluence, extraordinarily uniform triangular structures were fabricated on stainless steel and titanium alloy surfaces, resembling the primary comb-like surface structure of springtails. The laser-textured metallic surfaces exhibited hydrophobic properties and light scattering effects that were considered in this research as a potential in-line process monitoring solution. The possibilities to increase the processing throughput by employing high repetition rates in the MHz-range are also investigated.

Link(s)