Softening is a process step for the transformation of steel components. At the softening process, the martensite formation hardened steel will be heated in predefined areas. Thereby, the steel microstructure is changed; depending on the temperature, the martensite is either annealed (softened) or transformed into a more flexible ferrite-pearlite via austenitization. For this heat treatment, lasers are the best tool because they guarantee a flexible and high-precision material treatment with little transition zone to the workpiece. Neither gas flames nor infrared radiators offer any comparable process quality.
The process advantages of the diode lasers
Compared to other laser types, Laserline's diode lasers have a bigger spot and homogeneous intensity distribution. Together, both make an even softening all over possible. Thanks to a technology that was developed together with Fraunhofer ILT using double-sided radiation, process speeds of more than 10 meters per minute can be realized in the future.