Do you remember the entry “in mould microestructuration (IMM)”? Today we bring you another type of laser application that will surprise you: laser pattern interference.
As we mentioned a few months ago, laser microstructuring allows the surface functionalization of any material, being able to obtain anti-wear, anti-ice, hydrophobic, hydrophilic or bactericidal properties among many others.
Unfortunately, direct microstructuring with laser nowadays is very slow and cannot be applied to the industry in acceptable cycle times (1 cm2 / min). Therefore, microstructures are created by laser indirectly, this is the case of in mould microstructuration (IMM). Through the IMM, the mold is microstructured, and the pieces which are injected in this mold acquire that microstructure.
As we can see, the IMM solved the microstructuring of parts for all the material that are injected, but … what about the parts that are not manufactured with a mold? Keep reading!
As you know, the operation of a laser is based on the sweep of an area by a pointer. This pointer provides energy by making lines in different directions to get a surface microstructure. Therefore, to achieve a microstructure of small dimensions, it is necessary that the size of this pointer was of small size (5-20 microns)
This is where laser pattern interference has its biggest advantage. If more than one laser pointer is used at the same point at the same time, an interference is created and causes areas of greater and lesser distributed electrical energy in the area. So, in a laser pulse, if we have a large pointer diameter, of 200 microns for example, we cover a circle of 200 microns in diameter with a periodic microstructure of between 0.5 and 5 microns. This means that the speed could reach up to 1 m2/min!
This technology is still being investigated, although there are commercial teams that apply this concept and we are sure that there will be many more in the future.
What do you think? Did you already know this technique?