Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

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Dynamic beam shaping for high power laser applications

Laser beam shaping is an established method to adapt the power distribution to the specific requirements of a particular laser application. The first applications to use beam shaping are laser surface treatment applications, such as laser heat treatment. Dynamic beam shaping is more flexible compared to static beam shaping, so it allows a precise adjustment of laser power distribution, even during laser processing. Nowadays, dynamic beam shaping focuses more on narrow gap welding, the welding of hard-to-weld materials like aluminium alloys, and on thick plate cutting. Fast galvanometer scanners are currently used to provide appropriate beam shaping, but new techniques such as microelectromechanical system (MEMS) scanners are on the way.

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Feature

Matthew Dale explores some of the latest technology for manipulating and measuring the beam, including a multi-spot optical module for laser brazing and a contactless beam analysis device

Feature

Moving to very high power lasers for welding metals, like aluminium in car production, has some big benefits, as Greg Blackman finds out

Analysis and opinion