Research activities

Project partner:

  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
  • Frauenhover Gesellschaft
  • Math2Market GmbH
  • Porsche AG
  • PreciPoint GmbH
  • SGL Carbon GmbH
  • Trumpf Laser GmbH
  • Volkswagen AG
  • Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoffforschung BW

Project period: May 2019- October 2022

Project description:

High capacity electrodes with high layer thickness are been developed to increase the energy density of lithium ion batteries. These kinds of electrodes show off a bad speed charging ability and a reduced cycle resistance. Project goal is to take part in solving that conflict of interests. The anodes are in focus of this research project because they are expected to be the bottleneck. Three processes to structure the surface are to examine:

• Gradation

• Laser structuring

• Micro embossing

The approaches are investigated and evaluated on a laboratory scale. In parallel, algorithms are being developed that allow the prediction of advantageous electrode structures and main aging mechanisms SEI formation and lithium plating coupled to describe. In addition, a light microscopic method is being developed which will make it possible to follow the charging and discharging process in-situ and to validate ageing models.

Project partner:

  • Zentrum für Optische Technologien (ZOT) Aalen University
  • LaserApplikationsZentrum (LAZ) Aalen University

Project period: June 2017 - May 2020

Project description:

A free access, six-dimensional platform for additive processing must be develop by a researching group. (Six-dimensional = 3 room and 3 angle directions)

During the manufacturing time an individual analysis and an individual structuring of the test piece must be possible. The project must be realised by three different researching groups.

Project partner:

Participating institutes of university:

  • LaserApplikationsZentrum (LAZ) Hochschule Aalen
  • Institut für Materialforschung (IMFAA) Hochschule Aalen
  • Zentrum optische Technologien (ZOT) Hochschule Aalen
  • Zentrum für virtuelle Produktentwicklung (ZVP) Hochschule Aalen

Project period: June 2017 - May 2021

Project discription:

Additive manufacturing is a key technology for so called “Industrie 4.0” movement and the internet of things. Individual products can be economically produced in a high variability. It opens new business models and markets. Hence the 3D-printing has disruptive potential. In a few branches the advantages of additive manufacturing are aleady used in small series economically.

There are huge knowledge gaps considering the possibilities of additive technologies in area of plastics and metals. The constructive design of the components is one example. The lack of understanding mechanical, physical and optical characteristics is another. Also, the possibility of material combination to create individual materials, like CerMets or optical plastics is hardly known. Another crucial challenge is the surface quality.

The impulse project „AddFunk“ should clear the questions for the industry: Additive manufacturing of new materials like hard metals should be researched. Also, optical materials take part in the research. They are used for intelligent sensors for cyber physical systems. Functional integration, surface quality and micro structuring by laser are in focus of the consideration.

InDiMat: Innovative joining processes and stress-oriented design concepts for hybrid lightweight construction CFRP multi-material composites

Project partners:

Participating institutes of the university:

    LaserApplicationCenter (LAZ) Aalen University
    Institute for Materials Research (IMFAA) Aalen University
    Foundry Technology Aalen (GTA) Aalen University
    Lightweight Construction Technology Centre (TZL) Aalen University

Project period: June 2017 - May 2021

Project description:

Lightweight construction has outstanding importance for traffic, energy supply and industrial automation. Due to the increasing importance of resource and energy efficiency, the cross-sector key technology lightweight construction will play an important role for the future competitiveness of Germany.

Carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) are among the most promising lightweight construction materials. They are often realised as multi-material composites with a wide range of applications, e.g. in automotive, aerospace and mechanical/plant engineering. Currently, the focus is on hybrid lightweight construction composites made of CFRP and light metals as well as cost-efficient process approaches.

Various solutions for this are to be developed within the framework of the impulse project "InDiMat": Light-metal die casting aims at the process-integrated creation of functional cavities in cast structures, while hybrid joining addresses high-strength, durable, adhesively joined multi-material composites.

Release agent free die casting by laser structured tool surfaces (SurfPlus)

Project partner:

  • LaserApplikationsZentrum (LAZ) Hochschule Aalen
  • Gießereitechnologie Aalen (GTA) Hochschule Aalen

Project period: April 2019 – March 2020

Project description:

Lightweight construction is becoming increasingly important in terms of resource and energy consumption in order to achieve cost advantages. An important technology for this is aluminum die casting.
Release agents are still used to prevent the molten aluminium from sticking to the component. They are sprayed onto the hot tool, which increases tool wear due to high cooling rates.
In this project, it is to be investigated if the extent release agents can be dispensed with by using permanently introduced laser structures into the tool by using an USP laser ("cold processing").

ZIM Network project: 3D- Laser polishing of free form geometries by CAM Software (3D-LaPol)

Project partner:

  • LaserApplikationsZentrum (LAZ) Aalen University
  • CAM-Service GmbH

Project period: March 2020 - February 2022

Project description:

The project goal is to develop an offline CAM software solution for 3D-laser scanner and
6-axis robots. The software shall be used to treat surfaces of large-scale parts with complex geometries by laser. Within the project algorithms are developed to
3D-segmenting, to create 3D-hatches and to generate robot path movements. In parallel process parameter developing methods for individual segmented hatches are part of the research. Furthermore, the process boarders must be defined to be used as calculation boarders of the CAM system.

ZIM Network project: Hybrid precision cutting and laser technology for manufacturing high dynamic stressed parts of different material (LaserFee):

Project partners:

  • LaserApplikationsZentrum (LAZ) Hochschule Aalen
  • RPM Rüster Technologie GmbH

Project period: January 2020 - December 2021

Project description:

Project goal is to develop a method to manufacture high dynamic stressed parts by a synthesis of precision cutting and laser technology. By this method shall provide the possibility to process parts in one single step. Therefor a balance device for high accurately positioning and a laser based hardening und joining process for martensitic heat-treatable steel is to develop. Central point of the development is a laser based tempering strategy to control the hardening and joining.

ZIM Network project: Development of innovative multi-channel rotary transmission with LMD- coatings advanced applications (LMD-DrehDuFü)

Project partners:

  • LaserApplikationsZentrum (LAZ) Aalen University
  • Christian Maier GmbH & Co. KG

Project period: April 2019 - March 2021

Project description:

Project goal is to develop an innovative complex multi-channel rotary transmission for applications in reduced installation space. A new innovative sliding disk sealing allows to create shorter designs including more than one channel in one part. A simple installation and higher rotations speeds are possible. Initial step is the development of a new efficient and economical process to coat the rotary transmission sealing by functional surfaces. The new process shall base on LMD-coating an USP Laser-processing. 

BW-Foundation: Additiv processed soft magnet parts of layered structures for efficient electrical dives (AddLas)

Project partners:

  • LaserApplikationsZentrum (LAZ) Aalen University
  • Institut für Materialforschung  (IMFAA) Aalen University

Project period: May 2017 - April 2020

Project description:

Efficient electrical drives need soft magnetic materials with high induction forces and less losses. In case of high rotation speed traction drives, which are built in present electrical driven automobiles, common magnet materials reach their limits, because of high loses. Material with a higher specific resistance are not used because of their difficult processing. Hence innovative manufacturing like powder-bed fusion method, based on selective laser melting (SLM-3D-printing) offers a real chance. It could be used to produce soft magnets with optimised specifications. In parallel individually structured and designed parts for higher efficient drives are possible to process. Based on a self-developed concept of a processing chamber “AddLas” will built up a prototype device. This device shall be used to produce additive processed accurately fixable multi structures of different materials. The new additive processed materials will be tested in future prototypes.

Vector-Foundation- MINT-Innovations 2018: Laser based 3D-printing of solid-state batteries (AddBatt)

Project partners:

  • LaserApplikationsZentrum (LAZ) Aalen University
  • Institut für Materialforschung (IMFAA) Aalen University

Project period: December 2018 – January 2021

Project description:

In the search for accumulators with higher energy density and safety, solid state batteries are considered to be promising candidates for the future. In addition to the development of suitable materials, suitable production technologies are of central importance. In the "AddBatt" project, the fundamental feasibility of laser-based 3D printing of such batteries is to be investigated. This approach is primarily intended to improve the interface properties, i.e. conductivity and mechanical stability, between the solid separator and solid cathode as well as within the cathode - and thus contribute to solving a fundamental problem. In addition, 3D laser sintering offers the potential to produce batteries with flexible geometry - even in small quantities - in order to meet specific space requirements, e.g. for actuators in industrial 4.0 applications, or to produce completely printed components including the battery, e.g. for microelectromechanical systems or medical implants.

ZIM Network project: Development of a diamond tool in the form of an end mill with innovative chip shape and chip guiding geometry for ductile and lubricating materials, as well as a simulation tool for process optimization during development (DIATOOLS)

Project partners:

  • LaserApplikationsZentrum (LAZ) Aalen University
  • Zecha Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrikation GmbH 

Project period: June 2017 - October 2019

Project description:

Project goal is to develop a new efficient and economical chip making tool. Goal is an individually designed end mill for dry processing of ductile materials. In addition, a software shall be programmed to create fast new tool geometries and simulate them directly. The new tool shall be adjusted to machine hardly machinable materials like lead free copper alloys and soft aluminium alloys. 

ZIM Cooperation project: Flexible, energy-efficient automation solution for the production of multi-variant 3D joints for dynamically, thermally and corrosively loaded components using a new type of high-temperature capillary gap soldering with laser (enAbLe)

Project partners:

  • LaserApplikationsZentrum (LAZ) Aalen University
  • conntronic Prozess-und Automatisierungstechnik GmbH

Project period: August 2017 - July 2019

Project description:

The focussed automation solution HTKS soldering based on a new approach of heat treatment by laser. The laser treatment provides locally limited heat effected zone of the parts. The touch less beam leading provides planar heat treatment direct at the solder joint. As a result, thermally deforming appears reduced comparing to other treatments. In addition, postprocessing is not more necessary. That is a big advantage especially if there is a huge amount of variety in parts of different scales. Furthermore, different assemblies can be soldered in one flexible fixture by laser. HTKS- soldering enables especially smaller a medium size companies this kind of production, because the new centre technology is easy and quick in application to different products. It is also possible applicable to smaller series. High cost for heat treating tools like inductors or ovens are not longer required. 

ZIM Cooperation project: Development of a complete system for laser polishing of aluminium die-cast parts with online camera analysis and control

Project partner:

  • LaserApplikationsZentrum Aalen University
  • hema electronic GmbH
  • F.Scholz GmbH

Project period: March 2015 – February 2017

Project description:

Project goal is to develop a system to polish surfaces of aluminium parts by laser. The research focus on industrial die casting parts. In parallel, a camera shall be used to control the process and to safe the quality. In contrast to common strategies a cw high power laser shall be used in order to reach high area rates. By that reason new strategies and combinations of polishing parameters have to be developed. Laser processing of aluminium surfaces provides new challenges to camera systems. The heat radiation of solidifying aluminium cannot be visualized till now. Recorded data’s must be adapted to the researched surface specifications. Suitable error elimination strategies must be developed to eliminate errors monitored by picture analysis.

BW-Stiftung: Development of laser machining processes for the composite material hollow sphere structures – LASERHKS

Project term: October 2010 - Januar 2014

Project description:

Laser processing methods were developed for hollow sphere structures of composite materials. Suitable models were developed to cut, weld or drill by laser. A CO2 laser was used for the experimental researching.