ADM80007 Surface Engineering

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The surface material must have the right electrical, thermal, magnetic, optical, and mechanical properties. It should also be resistant to corrosion, wear, and other factors.

The surface of an engineering part that isn’t able to withstand the external forces and environmental conditions it is subject to will be unable to fulfill its intended function.

In engineering, surface requirements are crucial.

Surface engineering, a branch within materials science, focuses on the study of solid matter surface.

Surface engineering’s main goal is to improve product functionality.

Surface engineering offers many benefits: better functionality, less waste, lower power consumption, possibility of creating new and improved products, solving some of the more difficult engineering problems, preservation of rare materials (University of Sheffield 2017, 2017).

Laser surface modification is a technique that produces hybrid materials with a wide range of functionality and enhanced functionality (Kwok (2012); Vilar (2016)).

This technology can be used to alter materials in order to obtain desired surface properties.

The technology is compatible with a wide range of materials such as metals, ceramic, plastics/polymers or composites (Mittal Bahners 2014).

Healthcare is one area that has discovered extensive uses for laser surface modifications.

This technology has many biomedical uses, particularly in the manufacturing of biomaterials like implantables.

Biomaterials’ surface properties play an important role in the response of implants to their biological environment.

Laser surface modification can improve the mechanical and tribological properties of materials (Adesina Popoola and Fatoba 2016, 2016).

They are able to make desired biomaterials that can perform their intended function efficiently and without any negative effects for the patient.

The surface properties of biomaterials are crucial to their effectiveness. These include surface morphology, mechanical property, composition, surface free energies and wettability (Bandyopadhyay, Sahasrabudhe, 2016).

Laser surface modification plays a vital role in improving the surface properties of biomaterials to make them compatible and compatible with surrounding tissues and cells (Bandyopadhyay Sahasrabudhe & Bose 2016, 2016).

Laser surface modification can also help to make biomedical devices and equipment used in hospitals.

Laser surface modification is a process that optimizes the performance of a material to be used in a particular biomedical application (Brown, Arnold, 2010).

This report examines laser surface modification in biomedical application.

Laser Surface Modification – How it Works

The process of laser surface modifications involves the application of a laser beam to a substrate. (Earl, et al. 2015).

Laser beam interaction with substrate modify the material’s surface properties to make it suitable for its intended function.

Lasers are used for surface modification of many materials due to their high energy densities, directionality, and high coherence (Ganjali (2015)).

Lasers are also one of the most versatile tools in material processing.

These lasers are capable of producing high density heating sources, which can be controlled and finely managed.

Laser surface modification takes place in a specific environment. This environment can be protected, vacuumed, or filled with process gases.

To generate light, a resonator is used. The light is then directed onto the material’s surfaces using optical transmission systems like fiber optics and mirror systems.

The power density, or the minimum required power intensity (or.

A specified power density is the minimum required power output energy. The beam distribution and intensity are then adjusted by beam shaping (or beam focusing optics), such as mirrors or lenses (Bell Dong and Li) (n.d .)).

The laser beam can create track patterns on the material’s surface as it moves over it.

The beam’s cross-section and feed rate are also important factors in calculating the interaction time.

In simple words, interaction time refers to the time it takes for the laser beam to reach the surface of the material being altered.

This time is important in ensuring that desired surface properties are achieved.

Robots, portal systems and translation stages are also used to control the relative movement of the beam, depending on the geometry or type of laser surface modifiion being used.

After interaction time is over, the surface will have all the properties you want.

Laser Surface Modification Has Influenced Material Properties

Many material properties can be modified by laser surface modification (Ahmad 2011).

These properties are vital for biomedical applications. This is why laser surface modification has been so important in the healthcare industry.

Laser surface modification techniques come in two types: those that modify the composition of the material or those that do not.

These are some of the most common laser surface modifications used in biomedical research:

This method involves melting the surface with a laser beam, then re-solidifying the surface quickly without adding any material elements. It is intended to modify the chemical composition of the surface.

This technique involves several steps.

The process begins with the melting point near the surface followed by the movement of liquid/solid interfacing.

After this, elements begin to diffuse in the liquid phase.

Inter-diffusion continues and the material starts to resolidify quickly, creating a modified coating on the surface. (Biswas 2007, 2007).

This technique is very popular in biomedical fields because it doesn’t use foreign materials that could stress for or cause early material failure. It produces a homogenous, uniform surface and uses fewer parameters. It is also cheaper than other laser surface modifications techniques. It produces surfaces with high corrosion resistance and crack-free surfaces (Baker and Chikarakara 2009).

Laser Surface Alloying

This technique makes use of high power density laser beam sources that are focused on the material’s surface.

The power can be used to melt externally added alloying elements and the underlying substrate (Chikarakara (2012)

The surface’s chemical composition is altered by adding extraneous alloying components.

Pre-deposition and codeposition are the two main methods of depositing an alloying element.

Pre-deposition involves the addition of the alloying ingredient before laser radiation, while co-deposition allows the addition of the alloying component directly during laser radiation.

The allow element is often deposited in the form of powder, gas, wire (Brandl, et al. 2008; Filip (2011)

This technique is used to reduce the size of grains in materials. In turn, it increases the material’s tribological properties and hardness.

Glazing is the process of making solids that lack crystalline structures.

Laser blazing uses a rapid scanning technique that emits a beam of sufficient intensity over the material’s surface.

Conduction generates heat that is sufficient to heat the material.

Following this, the material is quickly cooled to allow for sufficient microstructural modification.

This alteration in the microstructure of the material increases its compressive strength, corrosion resistance and wear resistance and hardness properties (Matthews Ocelik and Hosson 2007, 2007).

Laser Surface Cladding

This is a melting procedure in which a substrate is fused with another material. (University of North Dakota 2017).

It’s as good as laser-surface alloying except that the substrate dilution (less than 10) is very low, while it is higher than laser surface allotting (10%).

Laser surface cladding offers many benefits, including great flexibility, excellent bonding, low thermal loading, minimal distortion and minimal distortion to the material being altered.

The material does not require any further treatment once it has been cladded.

This method has its drawbacks. It is expensive, produces uncontrollable crackeds, and lacks reproducibility.

The melted pool’s cooling speed is often very high. This causes uncontrollable cracks. Poor reproducibility occurs because it is difficult to ensure that the material dissolves evenly.

This technique can also modify the material’s surface.

The combination of appropriate overlays and lasers with high power intensities produces shock waves that can exert high pressure on the surface of the material.

A layer of water or glass is applied to the surface.

The laser beam heats and vaporizes black paint immediately after it is applied to the surface.

The laser beam radiation is then absorbed into the vapor, forming plasma.

The plasma creates high pressure on material surfaces.

The plasma is transmitted to the material as a shock wave and causes compressive stress. This stresses the material’s surface and makes it stronger (Rozmus Gornikowska 2010).

This can change the microstructure of the materials, increase dislocation density and alter the surface’s roughness. It can also introduce compressive stress to the material.

This laser surface modification technique has a much lower impact on corrosion and wear than other techniques.

Figure 2 below illustrates different types of surface modification techniques using lasers, according to their power density (Chikarakara (2012)).

Figure 2: Laser surface modifications techniques classified

Laser surface modification techniques have many advantages.

These are just a few:

Low Energy Consumption

Laser surface modifications use less energy that traditional methods such as flame hardening, carburizing, and so forth.

These techniques limit heating to the required area, to a small volume, and to a shallow layer. This prevents waste of energy and reduces energy consumption.

These techniques can also cause very little dimensional changes or deformations in the material which helps reduce the need for final grinding.

This reduces the need to rework the material by grinding.

Greater Flexibility

Laser surface modification techniques can also be applied to any shape, size or material. This includes materials with non-equilibrium or amorphous structures.

You can also adjust the laser’s power input using different focusing lenses or gradations.

Simple optical devices make it easy to switch between workstations by using the laser beam.

High Quality and Precision

To improve the accuracy of laser surface modification processes and to increase the quality of final products, automated systems can be used.

Computers can direct the beam across the material, eliminating potential for inaccuracies.

Automated material modifications can be made with the desired depth and width.

Homogenous and Fine-Grained Microstructures

Laser surface modification techniques can produce surfaces with uniform and fine-grained microstructures.

This ensures that the microstructures of the material remain intact, allowing it to retain its original internal mechanical or tribological properties.

Low Thermal Damage

These techniques result in very minimal thermal damage to any material.

The heat that is applied to the material by these techniques is predetermined and controlled. There is no way to expose the material to too much heat.

This allows the material to retain its desired properties.

Grain Growth and Distortion Reduction

This is another benefit of laser surface modification techniques. The distortion and growth of these techniques are negligible compared to traditional methods.

When the process is done under appropriate conditions, distortion and grain growth are not noticeable. This allows for the material to retain its mechanical and tribological characteristics (Aqida, et al. 2008).

Cost effective

Laser surface modifications are both cost-effective for mass production and individual production (Montealegre, et al. 2010).

These techniques reduce the total cost to modify surface properties because they require fewer workers and take up less space.

Time Savings

Laser surface modification is also quicker because they can quickly modify surfaces to achieve desired properties.

These methods are fully automated, so the process of surface modification takes only a few minutes.

It is possible to increase processing speeds, thereby reducing interaction time.

Laser surface modification techniques come with some limitations.

One, the energy distribution of laser beams can sometimes be non-homogeneous.

This could affect the quality and consistency of the final part being modified.

Also, microstructural structures can be created by techniques that modify the material’s composition.

Unintended properties may also be altered which can affect the material’s functionality.

Third, the absorption of lasers by surfaces may be low which can lead to a failure to achieve desired properties.

The last thing is that these processes are new and many people are unfamiliar with them.

This makes it difficult to address some unanticipated problems that may arise.

Factors That Affect Laser Surface Modification

Laser surface modification processes are governed by the following main variables: laser power, beam configuration, diameter, velocity of work-piece and substrate condition (absorptivity temperature and roughness), compositions of alloy elements and work-piece’s thermal-physical properties (Majumdar, Manna 2009).

Other factors can also influence the final properties the material surface being modified.

These factors include:

Material Properties

Material with specific microstructures are needed for biomedical applications.

The material’s microstructure will influence its response to the laser surface modification process.

The best method of laser surface modification is also determined by the microstructure of the material.

Laser beams can have significant effects on the original properties of a material.

Modalities of Operation for the Laser

Two main operating modes are available for laser surface modification: continuous mode and pulsed mode.

Continuous mode is simpler and more variable than pulsed mode.

The operating mode selected can have an impact on absorption, grain structures or refinement and melt depths. It also has an effect on residence time.

Laser Power and Intensity

The structure of the biomedical material being modified will be affected by the amount of laser power used.

It is important that the laser power be directed precisely to the spot to avoid wastage.

The laser intensity and power have an effect on the material’s melting rate and the temperature increase that the spot will experience.

Residence Time and Sample Speed

Residence time is the amount of time the material remains in contact with a laser beam.

This time is determined based on the speed of the sample and the size or spot at which it hits.

To avoid any premature or excessive modification of the material’s surface, residence time must be predetermined.

Overlap Percentage

The overlap refers to the ratio between spot’s size and distance between two consecutive laser spots.

It is important to control the overlap percentage as it can have an effect on heat buildup and lead to material preheating.

Energy Density of Pulse

To achieve desired surface properties, it is important to control the energy density.

This will ensure that the surface receives the right amount energy per unit of time and area.

Biomaterials classification

Biomaterials are synthetic materials that can be used to create devices for restoring or replacing the functions of body tissues.

Based on compatibility with surrounding tissue, there are four types of biomaterials (BIOFABRIS (2014)).

These categories are:

These implants are biomedical ones that do not come in direct contact with the surrounding tissue.

The soft tissue layer acts as a barrier to the implant from being separated.

The implant releases ions, monomers and corrosion products to induce the layer. There is no contact between the osteogenesis and the implant.

These implants are biomedical and are in direct contact to the surrounding tissues.

Although there is no chemical reaction between implant and tissues, there is osteogenesis contact.


These implants are biomedical and interact directly with surrounding tissues. They can interfere with osteogenesis.

These implants promote osteoconduction as they are bound to the tissue’s mineral components.

These implants are biomedical ones that interact directly with the surrounding tissues.

As time passes, the body begins to dissolve, phagocytize, and degrade the implants.

Types of Biomaterials


Metal biomaterials are the most commonly used biomedical implants.

They are used for orthopedics, dental, and cardiovascular surgeries.

They can be made of metals or metal alloys like steel, cobalt and titanium.

They possess high biocompatibility and thermal conductivity.


They are extremely durable, hardy, corrosion resistant, and biocompatible.

They are used to make dental restorative material such as crowns, dentures, cements, and crowns.

They can also be used for bone repair, joint replacements, and bone augmentation.

Alumina and zirconia are two examples of ceramic biomaterials.


For biomaterials with a variety of applications, there are many types and types of polymers.

They possess excellent biocompatibility, corrosion resistance and other properties.


These biomaterials consist of one type of material.

These materials are used primarily in dentistry for dental cements or restorative material, joint replacement, bone repairs, etc.

Natural Biomaterials

These biomaterials can be derived from plants and animals.

Biomimetic has been extensively studied because of their potential.

They are more compatible with human tissues and cells than synthetic biomaterials.

Examples of biomedical applications using laser surface modification

Numerous biomedical implant designs have been possible thanks to laser surface modification.

These implants can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including the ones listed below:


This includes both hip replacement and implant for the knee.

Hip replacement can be partial or complete hip replacement by orthopedic surgery.

Biomedical implant are used to replace hip bones (upper femurs) and hip bones (mating pelvis).

Laser surface modification allows for the production of femoral balls, femoral stems, and polymeric sockets, which can be used to create artificial hips.

Biomaterials can be used to manufacture polymeric materials or alloys that replace the lower femur, shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). These materials are used in total-knee arthroplasty.

Orthopedic biomaterials can treat bone fractures, osteoarthritis (spinal stenosis), chronic joint pain, scoliosis and other conditions.


Many heart implants are made of biomedical material, including pacemakers, valves and vessels, artificial hearts, and stents.

These devices can treat various heart issues such as heart failure, valvular disease, heart failure and angina pectoris.

The use of biomedical implant technology to restore or replace teeth is quite common today.

Sensory and Neurological

These implants are used to treat disorders affecting the brain and major sensory systems.

They can be used to treat visual impairments such as glaucoma, cataract, and keratoconus, as well as hearing loss issues such as otitismedia and otosclerosis, as well as many neurological problems like depression, Parkinson’s and epilepsy.

They can be used to treat artificial corneas and eye, as well as contact lenses.


There are many applications for prosthetics, or cosmetic implants. They can restore the aesthetic form of injured body parts.

They are commonly used for mastectomy (which is caused by breast carcinoma), to modify body parts (such as the buttocks or chins), or to correct disfigurements.

Cosmetic implants include breast implants, injectables, ocular prosthesis or nose prosthesis.


Contraception implants are used to prevent the possibility of pregnancy.

They can also be used for the treatment of certain conditions such as menorrhagia.

One example of contraception implants is intrauterine devices.

Biomaterials (also called suture materials), are used to increase wound closure and fracture repair.

They can be wires, screws and rods made of metals or polymers, as well as nails and plates.

Drug Delivery

Biomedical implant are used for controlled and rapid drug delivery to specific areas of the body.


Other biomaterials may be used for or as: vocal chords, artificial skins, spinal cords, liver, kidneys, lung and pancreas.


Many stakeholders in the healthcare sector are interested in laser surface modification for biomedical purposes.

Laser surface modification makes it easier and more cost-effective to create customized and complex biomedical structures.

This process can be applied to a wide range of biomaterials, including metals, composites, and polymers.

It produces biomedical components with appropriate tribological or mechanical properties and that are biocompatible to the body tissues of implant recipients.

Most components with these properties are expensive, so there is a need to develop ways of reducing their costs.

Laser surface modification, which is capable of creating biomedical components cost-effectively and efficiently at a speedy pace, is a popular method to improve the material’s surface properties.

There are many methods of laser surface modification.

Each technique has its advantages and drawbacks. It is worth exploring them all before deciding on the best one.

Laser surface modification is a great tool for improving the quality of life. It can be used with care and continued research and development.


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