International laser technology conference in Ukraine

The 4th International Conference on laser technologies in welding and material processing (LTWMP-2009) took place in Katsively village (Crimea, Ukraine) at the end of May this year. First started in 2003 as an international conference on laser technology in the post Soviet world, this conference has become a traditional event at which, every two years, experts in this advanced technology gather from all over the world.

The chief organizers are thePaton Welding Institute of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine and the Laser Technology Research Institute of the National Technical University of Ukraine "Kiev Polytechnic Institute." The chairmen of the Conference were Prof. B. Paton and Prof. V. Kovalenko.

This year, despite organizers' doubts on the feasibility of conducting the professional international meeting in a period of global economic crisis, laser technology professionals from seven countries successfully overcame these problems and gathered at this laser event in Crimea.

The main plenary paper by Prof. V. Kovalenko was devoted to "Modern trends in Production Engineering High Technologies Development". A new paradigm in manufacturing development (Competitive Sustainable Manufacturing) was discussed together with the necessity to implement the innovations into industry based on advanced technologies, automation in assembling and disassembling processes, developments of highly efficient lasers – diode laser, fiber laser, micro- and nanotechnologies, hybrid technologies etc. As a positive consequence the necessity to reconsider the main role of manufacturing in society was stressed as were ways to attract more young people to industry by increasing the intellectual level of technologies and machines.

A report delivered by Prof. G. Turichin and colleagues from the Institute of Laser and welding Technologies (St. Petersburg, Russia) was titled "Laser Hybrid Welding of Pipe Steels – Modeling and Technology". Theoretical consideration of the process was the subject of a report by Prof. Krivtsun and colleagues from the Paton Welding Institute (Kiev, Ukraine) on "Interaction of Dense Discharge Plasma with Evaporating Metal Surface at Plasma and laser-Plasma Welding and Metal Processing". Dr. A. Gumenyuk from Germany presented the results of research on Laser Hybrid Welding of Thick Walled Constructions Using Fiber laser.

Two papers were presented from the Laser Research Center of Zhejiang University of Technology (Hangzhou). In one, the results of joint research with colleagues from the Laser Research Institute of the NTUU "KPI" (Kiev, Ukraine) was given by Prof. Jianhua Yao, "Study of Residual Stress and Mechanical Properties of 2Cr13 Stainless Steel Steam Turbine Blades by Different Laser Surface Modifications". Prof. A. Gresev from the Institute of Laser and Information Technologies of Russian Academy of Sciences (Shatura) has delivered an interesting paper on "Laser Equipment and Methods of Laser Cutting, Welding, Facing and Hardfacing" developed at that institute and associated companies.

Papers were given on possibilities to control local thermo-deformation with laser irradiation to change the shape and rigidity of the sheet components by M. Grden and Prof. F. Vollertsen (BIAS, Bremen, Germany) "Spatial Reduction Simulation Strategy on an Incremental Thermal Forming Process". A young researcher from LTRI (Kiev, Ukraine) Alex Kaglyak and colleagues described "Laser Forming of Metal Frameworks and Sheets". The possibilities of using laser radiation for perforation and drilling oil and gas wells was discussed by the experts from Ukrainian State Geological Research Institute (Kiev) and others.

The use of laser radiation to manufacture nanoparticles was the subject of a paper by Prof. C. Sipavicius, Institute of Physics (Vilnius, Lithuania). Papers describing the use of lasers to manufacture stents for cardio-surgery operation were presented by I. Vahdatinua from NTUU . Other topics of general interest, including rapid prototyping by Prof. L.Golovko, NTUU (Kiev, Ukraine), were also given.

More than 50 papers were presented during the plenary and poster sessions. At the end of the conference a round table was organized where some significant problems were raised, with serious discussion devoted to the peculiarities of physical phenomenon at laser beam and plasma interaction when hybrid laser/plasma processing is implemented.

An idea was discussed about the creation of the International Association (or Institute) of Laser Technology to improve cooperation between researchers from different countries and promote the exchange of data and software for the sake of further development of laser technologies. Prof. Kovalenko as a moderator, reminded the audience that at ICALEO (San-Diego, CA) in 1991 such idea had been raised and warmly regarded met by the participants. Actually the Laser Institute of America (LIA) over time became such an International Institution and is now consolidating the efforts of the world laser community in fostering laser technology activity.

Finally a proposal was accepted to organize the 5th International Conference (LTWMP-11) in May 2011 at the same place - Katsiveli, Crimea, Ukraine.

Professor V. Kovalenko - Laser Technology Research Institute of the NTUU "KPI", Kiev, Ukraine kovinvst@ntu-kpi,kiev.ua or kovinvst@sovamua.com.

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