Heat Treatment and Thermal Coating

Dynamic beam shaping unit "LASSY" during a laser beam hardening process, mounted to a roboter.
© Fraunhofer IWS
Laser beam hardening of a steam turbine blade.

For component geometries, wear cases and materials where conventional hardening and coating technologies fail, laser technologies often offer new solutions for creating wear-resistant surfaces. Our main fields of activity are laser hardening of steel materials, laser cladding with powder and wire, and joining or coating of complicated material pairings by means of laser roll cladding. The process spectrum is complemented by laser shock peening, which introduces residual compressive stress fields into the surfaces and thus guarantees a long service life.

Core competencies of Fraunhofer IWS are process development, the elaboration of customer-specific processing concepts as well as the new and further development of system technology, from individual devices to complex machines and systems. Current activities focus on the realization of highest area rates by application of laser powers in the multi- 10 kW range, increase in efficiency and quality improvement. Innovative beam shaping systems and a precise temperature field control serve as the basis for reproducible industrial processes.

Our range of services includes:

  • Development and industrial transfer of laser-based processes with high-power laser and/or induction, such as hardening, heat treatment, roll cladding or buildup welding
  • Development of systems engineering components for process monitoring and control: Temperature measurement devices, thermal field control, special optics with/without dynamic beam shaping.
  • Integration of laser processes into industrial production and on-site support
  • Processing of test and prototype samples

Research Focus


Laser Processing of Edge Layers

  • Laser Hardening and Soft Annealing
  • Laser Shock Peening
  • Laser Forming and Remelting

Thermal Coating and Plating


Systems Technology

  • Temperature Detection, Process Monitoring and Thermal Field Control
  • Dynamic Beam Shaping
  • COAX Processing Heads for Laser Cladding



Industry Transfer

Laser Hardening of Turbine Blades


Fully Automatic Heat Field Control

Laser Processing of Complex Part Geometries



Laser-based manufacturing of bimetallic semi-finished products for solid plain bearings for use in large components, Timeframe: 07/2020–06/2022 (BMBF)


Functionalization of laser-structured fiber-reinforced plastic composites by thermal spraying, Timeframe: 05/2021–10/2023 (BMBF, FKZ: 03XP0368)


High-rate joining of bipolar plates from two half plates, Timeframe: 05/2022–11/2025 (BMDV, National Action Plan Fuel Cell Production (H2GO) FKZ: 03B11027A)


Advanced alkaline electrolysis technology for pressurised H2 production with potential for near-zero energy loss, Timeframe: 03/2023–02/2026 (EU-Horizon)


Thermal Barrier Coatings for greener heat-to-power applications, Timeframe: 36 months (M-ERA.NET 3)

News and Media


Press release / 3.4.2023

Lasers Join Lightweight Sandwich Structures

Production of Lightweight Metallic Panels Using the Roll-to-Roll Process


News / 11.8.2022

Simulations for 2D Laser Hardening