Today, consumers have access to cleaner, faster and more robust vehicles, products like artificial organs and custom prosthetics offer patients relief, and wearable fitness and touch screen technologies are everyday norms. Products like these once existed only in sci-fi movies, but now flood consumer markets around the world. What happened to cause this seemingly overnight technology boom? Credit in large-part is due to advanced manufacturing researchers, like Shuting Lei, who have paved the way for new era technologies.
Here at K-State, Lei and his team specialize in difficult-to-machine materials like superaolloys, glass and ceramics: think combustion chambers, touch screens and hip replacements. These materials are desirable to manufacturers because of their strength, durability and flexibility. Yet, their properties are extremely difficult to cut.
The femtosecond laser that Lei uses, however, is an industry game changer. Materials that once stressed and fractured under conventional tools now cut with extreme precision and smoothness. This technique offers design capabilities that were previously inconceivable and has revolutionized manufacturing engineering. Lei’s research is the road-map that will lead to future innovation.
FEMTOSECOND LASER MICRO/NANO MACHINING OF ADVANCED MATERIALS
Lei uses laser micromachining to conduct experiments involving computer and numerical modeling to optimize manufacturing processes. Combining finite elements analysis and distinct element simulation he is able to develop models that predict optimal operation conditions for micromachining.
RESEARCH OBJECTIVE - Develop novel machining techniques and study laser pulse interactions.
1. Can a Femtosecond laser produce narrow scribes on solar thin films for all three patterning processes with high speed?
2. How to generate high quality micro/nano structures free of defects and heat affected zone?
3. What are the fundamental mechanisms that govern the FS laser-matter interactions?
ADDITIONAL RESEARCH INTERESTS
- Machining of difficult-to-machine materials
- Laser-assisted machining of ceramics
- Numerical modeling of manufacturing processes
- Development of novel cutting tools