Composite bonding pre-treatment with laser radiation of 3 µm wavelength: Comparison with conventional laser sources
To use the full potential of composite parts, e.g., to reduce the structural weight of cars or airplanes, a greater focus is needed on the joining technology. Adhesive bonding is considered favorable, superior joining technology for these parts. Unfortunately, to provide a structural and durable bond, a surface pre-treatment is necessary. Due to its high integration potential in industrial process chains, laser radiation can be a very efficient tool for this purpose. Within the BMBF-funded (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) project GEWOL, a laser source that emits radiation at 3 µm wavelength (which shows significant advantages in theory) was developed for a sensitive laser-based bonding pre-treatment. Within the presented study, the developed laser source was compared with conventional laser sources emitting radiation at 355 nm, 1064 nm, and 10,600 nm in terms of application for a composite bonding pre-treatment. With the different laser sources, composites were treated, analytically tested, subsequently bonded, and mechanically tested to determine the bonding ability of the treated specimens. The results show a sensitive treatment of the surface with the developed laser source, which resulted in a very effective cleaning, high bonding strengths (over 32 MPa), and a good effectiveness compared with the conventional laser sources.