Modern ultra-short-pulse (USP) laser are enablers for the miniaturization of products or components in several sectors
- Automotive, Aerospace, Textiles, Medical technology, Precision engineering etc.
In these markets typical applications for the lasers include:
- Drilling, Ablation, Structuring, Cutting
The market requires:
- Efficient, precise and flexible micro machining technologies.
Hole drilling in particular has become an important application in these industries. But drilling straight walls with high aspect ratios isn't feasible if the laser beam impacts specimens at a normal incidence angle. The beam caustic affects hole corners and limits the maximum aspect ratio – that’s why new solutions are needed. A novel 5-axis technology allows beam inclination and enables straight walls, as well as negatively tapered holes. SCANLAB has introduced an innovative precession subsystem to the market that uses a novel 5-axis technology to incline the beam. These five axes (x,y,z,α, β) maximize flexibility for process development beyond typical percussion drilling: e.g. spiral drilling, trepanning and precession drilling, which means the laser is tilted and moved helically.
The five galvanometer axes allow flexible positioning possibilities, such as 3D-positioning of the focal spot onto workpieces with precise tracking of angles of incidence (AOI). For easy processing, factory calibration allows description of laser motion directly in metric units within precSYS's Cartesian image field coordinate system, which enhances ease of use and repeatability.
While cutting is a major laser application, laser welding is gathering new applications day-by-day. The current diode laser technology supports ongoing process developments and improves existing welding applications. This is driven by low investment and cost of ownership, but now process results show incredible improvements concerning spatter, homegenous welds and adaptive in-situ process control.
In many applications diode laser technology is thought of as the legitimate successor of CO2 lasers. The presentation includes some application results to demonstrate the above, along with a general update on the current range of welding applications.
New kilowatt laser sources based on vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) micro laser arrays are delivering rectangular beams of 100W/cm2 near infrared power density.
Large target areas (>1m2 possible) are treated directly, without optics or scanner systems, thereby giving significant cost advantages. The robust and compact laser modules are easily integrated into industrial production processes.
As a new feature, individual emission zones of the VCSEL source are controlled independently by the electronic driver system, thereby enabling adjustment of the spatial heating profile. Heating patterns can even be changed dynamically during operation, enabling an unprecedented level of process flexibility.
Beam shaping optics help to optimise results in laser material processing. By using diffractive beam splitters, multibeam arrays can be generated, leading to higher process speed and therefore lower cost. Process speed can also be increased with tailored beam profiles - for example, top hat profiles, because pulse-to-pulse overlap can be reduced. Furthermore, tailored beam profiles increase the quality of ablation.
The presentation shows typical optical setups for beam shapers and beam splitters, and their integration in existing optical setups. He will also present scribing results of different applications using nano-, pico- and femtosecond lasers.
The presentation explains the different methods of generating (via additive manufacturing) and cladding products using diode lasers. Various samples are shown and discussed. In the second part of the presentation, the principle of laser hardening and its advantages compared to conventional methods are explained and demonstrated with examples.
In addition, the presentation provides updates on the latest developments in diode laser technology, and explains why an increasing number of applications can be performed with these systems. Diode lasers are more efficient than CO2, fibre and disk lasers, and therefore face brilliant outlook in the market, underlined by several independent experts.