Laser polymer welding using high-brilliance fiber lasers

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After three years of intense work, the European project PolyBright presents its final results. Three laser welding prototype machines using a high-brilliance fiber laser have been developed. two of which will be exhibited from October 16 to 23 at the K2013 plastic trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany.

PolyBright's first prototype – a high-flexible dynamic mask welding unit developed by Leister (CH) is a novelty in laser polymer welding because it allows the weld contour to change within minutes due to using a liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) reflective mirror. Additionally, with the build-in scanner and beam shaping facility using transmissive diffractive optical elements, contour welding and quasi-simultaneous welding is feasible as well. The beam source is a polarized fiber laser, emitting at 1070 nm with 70 W maximum output power (see top photo).

The second one is a scanner+axes QSLW machine developed by Cencorp (FI) which allows to apply every utilized laser contour welding method (contour, contour TWIST, quasi-simultaneous) along the large working area (see bottom photo).

The third machine is the TWIST prototype developed by Arges (DE), IPG (DE) and ILT (DE) with its 1567 nm fiber laser wavelength and wavelength-adapted scanner that focuses on the TWIST contour welding process and the use of 1567 nm instead of regular 1070 nm fiber laser wavelength. This achieves weldability of high-opaque colored polymers, especially welding white-on-white configuration .

The Dynamic Mask as well as the Quasi-Simultaneous prototype will be exhibited during this year’s K2013 plastics trade fair on October 16-23 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The PolyBright project partners are going to present results in booth 07 C 03, located within the hall 7 "Science Campus" exhibitors.

PolyBright, the FP7 project on extending the process limits of laser polymer welding with high-brilliance beam sources, started in October 2010 with 18 partners from 9 countries and will end in October 2013. The aim of the project was to develop high power high brilliance lasers with new wavelengths between 1500 and 1900 nm that are adapted to the absorption properties of polymers.

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Top Photo: Dynamic Mask prototype for high-flexible simultaneous laser welding + schematic (1070 nm fiber laser).
Bottom Photo: Prototype for contour welding, quasi-simultaneous welding, TWIST welding (1070 nm fiber laser).



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