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Scientists use high-energy laser to create the world's first self-cleaning metal
- Jul 01, 2016 -

Scientists use high-energy laser to create the world's first self-cleaning metal
Inspiration from plants such as lotus defense mechanism, the 'self-cleaning and anti-bacterial high-energy laser surface texturing techniques' or 'TresClean' project, made a breakthrough, self-cleaning foil large-scale production will be just around the corner.

This new technology was originally used in the food production industry, to create an antibacterial surface, it can significantly improve productivity and reduce the cost of production and processing biological foods (such as milk, yogurt and tomato sauce) factory.

TresClean' project uses high-power laser cutting equipment, in metallic foil to mimic the lotus leaf surface, creating a customized, rough microstructure, so that the liquid metal sheet can ‘bounce'. The rough surface may be micro-bubble generation, so that the contact area between the metal surface and the liquid is reduced to a minimum.

Coordinator of ‘TresClean’Professor Locamolly project, explains: "clean way as the lotus leaf, no cleaning products or chemicals, their serrated blades, roughened surface by preventing the diffusion of water so that the water form spherical droplets. "

"Bacteria no chance to stick to the surface, because the metal surface with water contact area decreased by more than 80%. Our goal is an antimicrobial metal."

This replication method is currently used only for a specific and expensive plastic parts, which was first used in self-cleaning metal. Using innovative photonic devices for industrial metal surface texturing: By using an innovative method of beam propagation, transmission speeds up to 200 m / s, the high-power ultrashort pulse laser and high-performance scanning head can work together.

TresClean technology in less than 30 minutes of time, fast cutting 500 cm2 area, to achieve a textured metal surface. In early 2015, the production process is capable of speeds of 1 square inch per hour, using a laser etched metal, and TresClean technology enables the area of 1,000 cm2 etched at the same time, 156 times faster than previous techniques. Luo Moli estimated TresClean project products can come out within 2 years.
Initially, its main products for the food industry, machine parts, TresClean project hopes to significantly affect the productivity of the food industry: "Milk factory vats need cleaning every 6-8 hours, in order to avoid the large population of bacteria, which hindered the device use, affect output. "Luo Moli said.

By cleaning time per day and, in the whole production process, there is less and less clean sterilization cycle time, thereby increasing production efficiency. This will also reduce energy consumption, less cleaning stage, so that food production faster, safer, more cost-effective. "

Professor Luo Moli believes that in the long run, there is a possibility of this technology to other industries to promote: "Any business is going to use the self-cleaning of metals can benefit from the project TresClean products, such as medical tool, sterile surface, dishwasher or pan."