Wetting Properties of Steel Surfaces Modified by Laser Interference Metallurgy


  • The authors would gratefully acknowledge the European Union through the project AME-Lab (European Regional Development Fund C/4-EFRE-13/2009/Br), the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) and Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT-Chile) for their contributions and Michael Hans and Dr. Flavio Soldera for their corrections and suggestions.


The wetting properties of 100Cr6 bearing steel surfaces modified using laser interference metallurgy (LIMET) are analyzed. The steel surfaces are structured with line-like patterns with line-spacing. The topography of the ridged surface is analyzed by means of white light interferometry and scanning electron microscopy and surface chemistry of the different topographic regions by Raman spectroscopy. Contact angle (CA) measurements are performed on modified and non-irradiated surfaces, using bi-distilled water and FVA2 industrial oil. The angles are measured parallel and perpendicular to the line-pattern orientation. The topographical analysis shows steep line-pattern produced by laser. Raman analysis indicates that the laser irradiation does not significantly change the chemical species of the modified surfaces. The CA measurements elucidates that the parallel orientation provides a better wetting of the surface, because the laser line-pattern acts as capillary flow channels, whereas the perpendicular orientation imposes energy barrier thus preventing wetting. As expected, the wetting coverage is more effective for larger than for smaller periodic structures, due to the larger area of flat contact. These novel results highlight the relevant use of LIMET to tailor the wetting properties of steel surfaces.