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13.8.2020

Green laser melts pure copper

Creating sophisticatedly shaped plastic parts with the 3D printer is no longer an art process, but an everyday technology. This is quite different with pure copper: Until now, it has not been possible to completely melt the metal to create complex components layer by layer using infrared lasers. As a result, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden is now using a novel additive manufacturing system, which processes the metal almost defect-free with a short-wave green laser. It enables new production approaches which previously could not be realized with pure copper. Thus, complex components made of pure copper and copper alloys can be realized for aerospace and automotive industry and the efficiency of electric motors and heat exchangers can be increased.
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25.6.2020

Hot patterns in cold space

Building satellites and spaceships is anything but cheap. One reason is the fact that cosmic technology must be designed far more fail-safe than on earth. In space, even minimal problems such as an iced battery can lead to dramatic consequences. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden has therefore now developed special reliable thin ceramic-silver heaters for Airbus. These can be continuously and automatically printed onto tubes and other highly complex-shaped components.
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27.5.2020

Clean without scrubbing and using chemicals

Dresden scientists have developed a self-cleaning metallic surface. A project team of the Technische Universität Dresden and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS structured an aluminum plate with a laser process in such a way that water droplets can roll at its surface and thus remove dirt particles – completely without chemical cleaning agents or additional effort. The scientific evidence of the self-cleaning effect has been published in the journal “Applied Surface Science”.
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2.3.2020

A fast, ecofriendly way of de-icing aircrafts

Ice on an aircraft’s surfaces can be a hazard. It increases drag and fuel consumption, disrupts aerodynamic flows, and decreases lift – which impairs the aircraft’s ability to fly safely. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS, AIRBUS and TU Dresden have developed a laser process that fills two needs with one deed. On one hand, accumulated ice falls off by itself and on the other it takes less heat to de-ice surfaces. Direct Laser Interference Patterning permits surfaces to be structured in ways that effectively repel ice.
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