Laser Beam Hardening for Industrial Applications
A large number of laser hardening systems were successfully transferred to industrial applications using the processes and system components developed at Fraunhofer IWS. Examples are:
- Laser beam hardening of inside surfaces in injection modules of modern automotive diesel motors (3 machine installations, about 9 Mio parts annually),
- Temper zone free laser beam hardening of sleeve bearing surfaces of automotive turbo chargers (universal hardening machine, 3 installations for approximately 90 different part types),
- Robot based laser beam hardening in tool and die making operations (5 system installations in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia),
- Laser beam hardening of very large forming tools (hardening portal, integration in a 5-axis-milling portal, two systems),
- Universal hardening systems (based on a standard milling center, four systems) for job shops, high volume production and development,
- Laser beam hardening of hydraulic components (3 systems, of which two are integrated into automated horizontal rod turning lathe).
The development of novel processes for the treatment of precipitation hardenable materials represents a particularly special scientific achievement. Precipitation hardened turbine blades made from 16-4 PH steel show a substantial increase in lifespan and are today used in more than 30 turbines in large power plants.