Laser-based functionalization of electronic multi-material-layers for embedded sensors
The additive production of sensors on massive mechanical components for structural health monitoring (e.g., temperature, strain, and body-sound) using printing and laser technology shows great potential since the sensor structures are applied directly onto the component's surface without using adhesives or leads. The required multilayer stack of different materials can be added consecutively to build up the sensor layer by layer. Digital additive production techniques like printing and laser-induced heat treatment processes enable the manufacturing of highly individualized sensor structures down to batch size one. In this work, the principle of laser treatment of printed layers for temperature and strain sensors (Fig. 1) is introduced and first results are discussed. For the manufacturing process of insulator (glass) and conductor/resistor (silver-based) layers, microparticulate materials are deposited onto steel substrates and laser sintered. For better chemical and mechanical adhesion, the substrate surfaces are also pretreated (oxidized and roughened) using laser radiation. Combining the additive, digital and inline-capable printing, and laser sintering methods, functional layers for sensor applications on massive steel components can be realized.