Laser-based coating method developed for aluminium surfaces

AHC Oberflächentechnik in Germany has developed a novel laser-based method for oxidising aluminium surfaces without using chemicals. The Lasox-Coat treatment process can coat components selectively using a laser to protect them against wear and corrosion. A pilot plant is located in the French subsidiary Faulquemont; the process will enter serial production soon.

The laser heats the workpiece under oxygen to form an oxygen plasma. The oxygen plasma – which consists of ionised atoms – along with molten aluminium react to form aluminium oxide, which coats the treated surface.

The thickness of this corundum layer is typically around 6 to 10µm, while the re-molten area is about 100µm thick. The hardness of the aluminium oxide is approximately 2,000 HV. The hardness of the re-molten zone depends on the alloy used – with Si-containing alloys (Si>8 per cent) the hardness can increase by 50 per cent relative to the original alloy.

Twitter icon
Google icon icon
Digg icon
LinkedIn icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon

Information technologies like cloud computing and Internet of Things are bringing about big changes in manufacturing. Gemma Church looks at where laser systems will fit into these smart factories


Matthew Dale asks what measures are needed to bring metal 3D printing into mainstream production


Greg Blackman on the safety equipment for protecting against higher power and ultrafast lasers