Durability and Wear Resistance of Laser-Textured Hardened Stainless Steel Surfaces with Hydrophobic Properties

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

A. Garcia-Giron, J.M. Romano, A. Batal, B. Dashtbozorg, H. Dong, E. Martinez Solanas, D. Urrutia Angos, M. Walker, P. Penchev, S.S. Dimov (2019) Durability and Wear Resistance of Laser-Textured Hardened Stainless Steel Surfaces with Hydrophobic Properties, Langmuir 35(15) 5353-5363. doi:10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b00398.

Abstract

Hydrophobic surfaces are of high interest to industry. While surface functionalization has attracted significant interest, from both industry and research, the durability of engineered surfaces remains a challenge, as wear and scratches deteriorate their functional response. In this work, a cost-effective combination of surface engineering processes on stainless steel was investigated. Low-temperature plasma surface alloying was applied to increase surface hardness from 172 to 305 HV. Then, near-infrared nanosecond laser patterning was deployed to fabricate channel-like patterns that enabled superhydrophobicity. Abrasion tests were carried out to examine the durability of such engineered surfaces during daily use. In particular, the evolution of surface topographies, chemical composition, and water contact angle with increasing abrasion cycles were studied. Hydrophobicity deteriorated progressively on both hardened and raw stainless steel samples, suggesting that the major contributing factor to hydrophobicity was the surface chemical composition. At the same time, samples with increased surface hardness exhibited a slower deterioration of their topographies when compared with nontreated surfaces. A conclusion is made about the durability of laser-textured hardened stainless steel surfaces produced by applying the proposed combined surface engineering approach.

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Subwavelength Direct Laser Nanopatterning Via Microparticle Arrays For Functionalizing Metallic Surfaces

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

Jean-Michel Romano, Rajib Ahmed, Antonio Garcia-Giron, Pavel Penchev, Haider Butt, Olivier Delléa, Melissa Sikosana, Ralf Helbig, Carsten Werner, Stefan Dimov (2019) Subwavelength Direct Laser Nanopatterning Via Microparticle Arrays For Functionalizing Metallic Surfaces, Journal of Micro- and Nano-Manufacturing 7(1) 010901. doi:10.1115/1.4042964.

Abstract

Functionalized metallic nanofeatures can be selectively fabricated via ultrashort laser processing; however, the cost-effective large-area texturing, intrinsically constrained by the diffraction limit of light, remains a challenging issue. A high-intensity near-field phenomenon that takes place when irradiating microsized spheres, referred to as photonic nanojet (PN), was investigated in the transitional state between geometrical optics and dipole regime to fabricate functionalized metallic subwavelength features. Finite element simulations were performed to predict the PN focal length and beam spot size, and nanofeature formation. A systematic approach was employed to functionalize metallic surface by varying the pulse energy, focal offset, and number of pulses to fabricate controlled array of nanoholes and to study the generation of triangular and rhombic laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS). Finally, large-area texturing was investigated to minimize the dry laser cleaning (DLC) effect and improve homogeneity of PN-assisted texturing. Tailored dimensions and densities of achievable surface patterns could provide hexagonal light scattering and selective optical reflectance for a specific light wavelength. Surfaces exhibited controlled wetting properties with either hydrophilicity or hydrophobicity. No correlation was found between wetting and microbacterial colonization properties of textured metallic surfaces after 4h incubation of Escherichia coli. However, an unexpected bacterial repellency was observed.

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Positive effect of laser structured surfaces on tribological performance

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

Tobias Stark, Sabri Alamri, Alfredo I. Aguilar-Morales, Thomas Kiedrowski, Andrés Fabián Lasagni. Positive Effect of Laser Structured Surfaces on Tribological Performance. Journal of Laser Micro/Nanoengineering Vol. 14, No. 1, 2019.

Abstract

In recent years laser surface structuring has emerged as a viable tool to enhance surface function-ality. In this study, an ultrashort pulsed laser is used to create advanced surface structures in order to improve the tribological properties of steels. The objective is to decrease friction and wear especially for the mixed lubrication regime in which body and counterbody are in contact. We state the hypoth-esis that the high flow resistance in small channels helps to hold the lubricant in the tribocontact and therefore separates contacting asperities. Direct Laser Writing and Direct Laser Interference Pattern-ing methods are used to create cross-like structures of different channel sizes. Tribological properties of these structures are evaluated by means of a ball-on-disc tribometer. The surface structures and the wear behavior are analyzed with confocal microscopy. The results show a decrease of the coefficient of friction depending on the size of the channels. This behavior is discussed and compared to the hypothesis stated above.

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Fabrication of inclined non-symmetrical periodic micro-structures using Direct Laser Interference Patterning

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

Sabri Alamri, Mikhael El-Khoury, Alfredo I. Aguilar-Morales, Sebastian Storm, Tim Kunze and Andrés F. Lasagni (2019) Fabrication of inclined non-symmetrical periodic micro-structures using Direct Laser Interference Patterning. Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 5455.

Abstract

The direct fabrication of microstructures, having a non-symmetrical morphology with controllable inclination, presents nowadays a challenging task. Natural examples of surfaces with inclined topographies have shown to provide anisotropic functionalities, which have attracted the interest of several researchers in the last years. This work presents a microfabrication technique for producing microstructures with a determined and controllable inclination angle using two-beam Direct Laser Interference Patterning. Polyimide foils are irradiated with a 4 ns UV (266 nm) laser source producing line-like structures with a period varying from 4.6 µm to 16.5 µm. The inclinations, retrieved by tilting the sample with respect to the optical axis of the setup, are changed from 0° to 75°, introducing a well controllable and defined inclination of the structure walls. The structuring parameters (laser fluence, number of laser pulses and interference period) as well as the inclination of the microstructures are correlated with the global tilting of the sample. As a result, a determined laser fluence and number of pulses are necessary to observe a remarkable non-symmetrical morphology of the structures. In addition, the presence of structural undercuts is reported, which opens the possibility for developing new direction-dependent properties on polymeric materials. As an example, preliminary results on light diffraction are presented, showing a similar behavior as blazed diffraction gratings.

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On the Interplay of DLIP and LIPSS Upon Ultra-Short Laser Pulse Irradiation

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

Sabri Alamri, Fotis Fraggelakis, Tim Kunze, Benjamin Krupop, Girolamo Mincuzzi, Rainer Kling and Andrés Fabián Lasagni (2019) On the Interplay of DLIP and LIPSS Upon Ultra-Short Laser Pulse Irradiation. Materials, 12(7), 1018.

Abstract

Controlling laser induced surface morphology is essential for developing specialized functional surfaces. This work presents novel, multi-scale periodic patterns with two-dimensional symmetry generated on stainless steel, polyimide and sapphire. The microstructures were realized by combining Direct Laser Interference Patterning with the generation of Laser Induced Periodic Surface Structures in a one-step process. An industrial, fiber femtosecond laser source emitting at 1030 nm with a pulse duration of 500 fs was utilized for the experiments. In the case of stainless steel, it was possible to create line-like or pillar-like surface patterns by rotating the polarization orientation with respect to the interference pattern. In the case of polyimide and sapphire, the absorption of the laser radiation was promoted by a multiphoton mechanism. In polyimide, grooves and pillars of several microns in depth were produced over an area much larger than the spot size. Finally, for sapphire, the simultaneous generation of interference-like pattern and laser induced periodic surface structures was realized. The results reported here provide valuable data on the feasibility to combine two state-of-the-art techniques with an industrial apparatus, to control the induced surface morphology.

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