Laser tech on display at Hannover fair

Laser technology for creating lightweight structures will be on display at the Hannover trade fair from 25 to 29 April. The chassis of the Audi R8 will be the centrepiece of a display at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Lightweight joint stand in Hall 6 E 30.

The chassis weighs 200kg and consists of 79 per cent aluminium and 13 per cent carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). Audi is using laser welding among other laser processing techniques to manufacture its high-end models in Neckarsulm, Germany.

Trumpf Laser- und Systemtechnik will display a laser joining technology to bond metal to plastic demonstrated in a car component. The bond does not require any adhesive or bonding agent, meaning completely new and lightweight component forms can be made.

Also at the fair, Laser Zentrum Hannover (Hall 2, stand A08) will present current research into additive manufacturing with magnesium for building load-adapted parts; underwater laser welding; a laser penetration welding process for carbon fibre reinforced plastics, and creating smart parts through functionalised surfaces and integrated sensors.

LZH has developed an automated laser-based cutting process for sheet pilings that operates underwater and gives a significant increase in cutting speed. The underwater metal processing is fast and cost-efficient.

The institute will also present the current state of research in the fields of cutting, drilling and ablation of CFRP and micro-structuring of metals and non-metals for mechanical engineering, medical technology and the solar industry.

In addition, additive manufacturing firm EOS will join six other companies on a novel stand with the theme 'Emotional engineering in lightweight design' (hall 6, stand D44). EOS will display its Formiga P 110 plastic system, as well as a range of lightweight parts produced by AM.

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By Dave MacLellan, Executive Director, AILU


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