Process oriented development of photonic tools for adhesive joining of multi-material automotive lightweight structures

ProPhoMuLA is a project with a planned duration of 3 years, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) associated with the funding line “photonic processes and tools for resource efficient lightweight structures”. The overall objective of the project is to assess the potential of a laser surface treatment for adhesive joints of metals with fiber reinforced plastics in automotive lightweight structures. Research is carried out on the laser surface treatment technology for adhesive joining processes and the suitability for automotive series production is considered.

As a basis for an efficient laser surface treatment a systematic analysis is performed, which includes the characterisation of different laser models with respect to an optimal surface treatment. A particular focus is put on the impact of the laser surface treatment on the adhesive properties of the joining partner surfaces. To increase the process robustness and as a prerequisite for process automation, an in-line measurement technology based on heat transfer through a laser system is investigated. The transferability of the technological knowledge to industrial applications in the automotive high volume series production is secured by the identification of a feasible process chain. The validation of the process chain is performed by the production of a demonstrator component. The laser surface treatment, adhesive joining and process integration pose special requirements for automotive joints. These requirements are identified and provide the prerequisite for the deduction of guide lines with regards to relevant component applications.


Dr.-Ing. Dinesh Thirunavukkarasu
Manager Research Area
Vehicle Concepts & HMI
+49 241 80 25699

Project duration

05/2013 – 04/2016

Project partner

Adam Opel AG, AiMESS Services GmbH, ika, isf, SLCR Lasertechnik GmbH, WISCO tailored blanks, ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Supported by

[Logo: BM Bildung und Forschung]


Institute for Automotive Engineering
RWTH Aachen University
Steinbachstraße 7
52074 Aachen · Germany
+49 241 80 25600

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