Mukilteo, WA—Low-power, sealed-off (<500W) CO2 lasers are used in a wide range of industrial applications, as evidenced by their strong sales performance in an otherwise slow sales year for industrial lasers in general. Synrad, the industry leader in this laser category, continues to explore new material processing prospects by virtue of aggressive applications investigations.
Recently the company reported on welding, cutting and marking applications that offer users the benefits of cost-effective processing with its low-power CO2 lasers. Polyvinyl butyral (PVB), when used as a laminate in glass, offers penetration resistance, sound isolation, resistance to IFR and filtering of UV rays in application used in the aircraft, auto and architectural industries. After bonding the PVB to glass it is laser trimmed with a resulting transparent polished edge. Using 100 W of power, Synrad cuts this material at a speed of 250 IPM.
Conduction welding using low CO2 power can be an economical operation. For example, Synrad butt welds 0.037-in. stainless steel tabs at 16 IPM using only 240 W of power to achieve complete penetration.
Every chemist has, at one time or another, had to seal the end of a glass pipette using a Bunsen burner flame. OK for the lab on an as-needed basis. When volume sealing is required, the defocused beam from a 10W CO2 laser produced a smooth, sealed end on rotating borosilicate glass pipettes, 0.075 in. in diameter, in just 4 seconds.
These are just a few examples of industrial applications served by low-power CO2 lasers. Access Synrad's online library (www.synrad.com/ search_apps/default.htm) where you can search by material, process and industry.—DAB