Selective tribological optimisation of fluid kinetics and efficiency by laser surface structuring – STOKES

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Economic losses caused by wear and friction are on a Global scale. Just in Germany alone the losses amount to 100 bn € p.a., for Europe losses exceed 400 bn €.  Recent investigations have shown that laser manufactured structures can exert considerable enhancement on the tribological behaviour of wear prone surfaces. Besides the hydrodynamic effect, which improves friction, the ability of the surface’s structure to store a lubricant (in micro pores) lead to the formation of a lubrication film, thereby enhancing the life of the component even further.

As this state-of-the-art project, STOKES, the techniques for laser surface structuring, particularly for tribological applications were mainly on an R&D level but the production technology was in need of a technology transfer.  Main topics in this research field were; pre- and post-treatment steps of current laser structuring techniques as well as high production rates. The overall goal of this project was to address these issues by the development and realisation of laser structuring technology, enabling the laser surface structuring process that can be integrated into the production of hydraulic parts and other wear prone parts.

The project is funded as part of the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (Grant Agreement Nummer: 286783). Project duration: 1.12.2011 – 31.1.2014