Abstract

This experimental work utilizes a newly developed method, curved water jet guided laser micro-machining, to generate micro features on metallic surfaces. During the process, material is removed by a high-power nanosecond laser beam which is transmitted through a high-pressure micro water jet via total internal reflection. To achieve intricate texturing patterns, a secondary motion component is superimposed on the XY motion of the workpiece provided by the motion stage. The secondary motion is generated by deflecting the water jet trajectory by a controllable dielectrophoretic force. The induced secondary motion of the water jet cuts the processing time to one half when generating texture patterns for isotropic wetting as compared to processes with only XY motion. The ability to alter the water jet’s trajectory by tens of microns at high frequencies, which is beyond the capability of conventional CNC machines, allows a wide range of different micro patterns to be generated, profoundly increasing the flexibility and efficiency of the process as compared to conventional approaches. As a demonstration, surface textures for isotropic and anisotropic behaviors are generated on stainless steel surfaces. The influence of feature spacing, motion speed (frequency) and texturing patterns on surface wettability are studied.

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