Cold surface treatments on fiber-reinforced plastics by pulsed laser

Jana Gebauer, Gerd Paczkowski, Jodok Weixler, Udo Klotzbach


When producing fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) suitable for mass production, new technologies have to be developed to overcome existing challenges such as increased efficiency in resource consumption or higher process flexibility. In the past, laser processing has been shown to yield important advantages such as non-contact processing, no tool wear and high design flexibility.

Pulsed laser ablation of FRP offers a promising alternative to state of the art mechanical blasting. The selective matrix removal enables a high potential to improve adhesive bonding, molding processes and coating deposition of lightweight materials, especially FRP-metal or FRP-ceramic hybrids. The resulting increase in surface area exhibits forms lock characteristics and simultaneously provides an expanded interface area. As a result, 40 % higher tensile strength can be reached in pull-off tests compared to a mechanically blasted organic sheet surface, joined by thermal spraying of aluminum on carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy (CFRP).

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