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Laser Roughening Your Cylinder Bores Reduces Friction and Increases Engine Efficiency

The appropriate adhesion for cylinder bore coating is a perquisite to increasing engine efficiency. For this purpose, Gehring recently presented an innovative laser roughening process in which high-resolution micro-structures are created with a laser beam onto the substrate surface. This allows formation for a variety of adhesive properties.

High-performance roughening is required to produce a reliable bond between the layer and substrate, ensuring all aspects of functionality. A positive interlocking connection is achieved by undercutting and the complete filling of the profile's roughness; microscopically and evenly sprayed materials are crucial requirements for layer adhesion.

The purpose of laser roughening is a micro-positive interlocking connection across the entire surface, enabling a high level of adhesive strength, resulting in an appropriate and robust layer in all directions. Blast parameters and process kinematics allow roughening topographies for both spiral profiled grooves or enclosed cavities. When energy enriched beams of light identify the material, the energy is absorbed locally and converted into heat. When the appropriate parameters are selected, formation of the profile roughness is ideally matched to the function, for both aluminum and cast-iron materials.

Operating costs are relatively low, due to the lack of mechanical machining typically associated with high tooling costs. Additionally, laser roughening delivers considerable material cost savings, due to the high levels of adhesive strength achieved with low roughness.

The compact design of laser spindles allows for two identical cylinder bores to be machined simultaneously. The hollow-shaft motor and stationary submersed optical system enables operation, virtually without vibration. An industrial based sensor is used to monitor the process, particularly during the set-up stage. The optical equipment for the fully automated roughening module, with an optimized footprint, includes an extraction system and coolant device for the laser beam and spindle sources.

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