Project TitleDesktop Micro Surface Texturing System
Track Code2011-002
Short Description

A desktop deformation-based surface texturing system for efficiently and economically fabricating micro-scale surface textures.

#INSTRUMENTATION #DEVICE #fabrication #manufacturing


Northwestern researchers have developed a desktop surface texturing apparatus that can efficiently and economically fabricate micro-scale surface textures. Various energy and biomedical applications requires creating micro surface textures on the exterior of interface parts. However, there is a lack of such an economically sustainable and environmental friendly fabrication method for surface micro texturing. Northwestern’s invention fills this void by using the efficient micro form rolling process to produce micro textures on thin sheet materials and internal surface of a journal bearing. Based on the deformation theory, this system enables mass production of micro channels at a lower cost with less energy consumption, less environmental impact, and a minimal material waste compared with alternative processes such as the laser texturing and photochemical machining. This promising invention can be applied to a wide range of areas, such as friction/wear reduction, bacteria sterilization and self-cleaned surfaces.

Figure Desktop Deformation-based Micro Surface Texturing System. (a): Schematic of rolls with micro-channel features. (b): Schematic of desktop surface texturing system. (c): Assembled desktop surface texturing apparatus. (d): Fabricated micro-channel array. (e): Fabricated micro-grid pattern.

TagsDEVICES: fabrication, INSTRUMENTATION: manufacturing
Posted DateJan 7, 2015 4:23 PM


Jian Cao* 
Rui Zhou 
Kornel F. Ehmann


• Fabrication of surface micro-textures 
• Friction/wear reduction 
• Bacteria sterilization surface 
• Self-cleaned surface


• Efficient and economically sustainable 
• Minimal material waste and low energy cost 
• Room temperature practice 
• Environmental friendly


IP Status

US provisional application has been filed.

Marketing Contact

Arjan Quist, PhD 
Invention Associate 
(p) 847-467-0305 


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