Murea Provides Quick and Large-Scale Laser Applications

The multi-remote system processes large areas by means of laser radiation and atmospheric pressure plasma. (Source: Fh. IWS)

Fraunhofer IWS engineers developed and designed a novel multi-remote system, which is available for basic research tests and for further projects. The combination of height-adjustable high performance scanners with a movable cross table enables the engineers to process complex compounds in a flexible and large-scale manner. “Murea” provides laser sources within the kilowatt power range of 1 µm and 10.6 µm. The beam sources can be used in a single as well as in a simultaneous mode. In addition, the Fraunhofer IWS Dresden designed the scanner and the machine table control in such a way that also continuous materials such as tissue, metal or organic sheets can be processed. In this way, laser processes such as joining, cutting or ablation can be efficiently developed and be transferred into industrial applications. The spectrum ranges from small series production to system configuration up to the adaption of system components for industrial purposes.

The development’s backdrop is the increasing demand for more efficient laser systems. Lightweight construction for sheet-like semi-finished products consisting of various materials, requires flexible production and processing technologies. “In particular, automotive and aerospace industries demand machine systems, which achieve processing speeds of up to a hundred meters per minute,” explains Annett Klotzbach, group manager Bonding and Composite Technologies at the IWS. “Our solution approach consists of laser remote processes with beam sources, which are adapted to material and absorption properties.” Two tiltable mirrors deflect the laser beam to the component and focus it with focal lengths of 200 up to 1000 mm. Even very small mirror deflections result in laser spot motion speeds of up to ten meters per second.

Atmospheric pressure plasma – processing with double rotary nozzles (Source: Fh. IWS)

During the process of laser material ablation, cutting or structuring of carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CRFP) or stainless steel, hazardous particles or vapors emerge, which might damage electric as well as mechanical components of the system. This is the reason why the IWS project team optimized the encapsulation of the electronics and additionally implemented a suction chamber. This chamber efficiently removes by-products from a working space (comprising about one cubic meter) and subsequently filters them out by means of particular filtering equipment.

For the task of the adhesive bonding of titanium and aluminum with fiber composite material the IWS team could clearly prove that a laser processing improves adhesive strength and aging stability. In this process the surface is cleaned and the oxide layer is positively influenced. Since a processing with atmospheric pressure plasma chemically activates the surface and improves the adhesion of different materials, the IWS team additionally implemented double rotary nozzles into the system. Thus, a sequential and simultaneous material processing by means of plasma and laser becomes possible. (Source: Fh. IWS)

Link: Bonding and Composite Technologies Group, Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS, Dresden, Germany

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