Laser structuring by remelting (WaveShape) is a manufacturing process for metal surfaces in which structures are generated without material removal. The structuring principle is based on the controlled motion of the three-phase line in the area of the solidification front. The contour of the solidification front is imprinted into the remelting track during the continuous solidification process. Typically, harmonic surface structures in the form of sinusoidal oscillations are generated by means of WaveShape with virtually no material loss. However, a significant shape deviation is often observed over a wide range of process parameters. In this study, it was found that much of the shape deviation is concentrated at a spatial wavelength equal to half the spatial wavelength used for structuring. Therefore, an approach to reduce the shape deviations was specifically investigated by superimposing a compensation signal on the harmonic structuring signal. In this approach, a compensation signal with half the spatial wavelength was varied in phase and amplitude and superimposed on the structuring signal. Amplitude and phase shift of the compensation signal were further investigated for selected laser beam diameters and spatial wavelengths. This demonstrated that a shape deviation of harmonic surface structures on titanium alloy Ti6Al4V could be reduced by up to 91% by means of an adapted compensation signal.
Keywords: Ti6Al4V; WaveShape; laser processing; laser structuring; laser surface treatment; shape deviation; surface structuring.