Carbon-dioxide laser enables joining of complex glass parts

Recognizing that automated manufacturing of complex glass parts has been limited, scientists in the Glass Group at Laser Zentrum Hannover eV (LZH) have therefore developed a process for laser joining of borosilicate and quartz glass.

Hannover, Germany - Recognizing that automated manufacturing of complex glass parts has been limited, scientists in the Glass Group at Laser Zentrum Hannover eV (LZH) have therefore developed a process for laser joining of borosilicate and quartz glass. Results of the project show that the new process setup is well suited for automated manufacturing.

Related: Laser processing of glass materials workshop at Laser Zentrum

Complex glass parts are, in most cases, manufactured manually by a glass apparatus maker using a gas flame. Since the process cannot be entirely controlled, the quality fluctuates. To be able to automate the production of complex parts, such as for chemical apparatus engineering, the LZH scientists' laser-based process features integrated temperature control that regulates the viscosity of the parts in a pre-defined way during the welding process: A carbon-dioxide (CO2) laser beam source provides the required amount of heat energy, and temperature is measured without contact using a pyrometer.

To bridge gaps at, for example, L-angle geometries, glass powder is added as filler material during the joining process. In doing so, the glass powder is melted and forms a homogeneous welding seam with a constant bead height. The new process setup enables automated joining of glass in various welding configurations, such as butt joints, fillet joints, and L-angles.

The research work was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, and the complete report is available upon request by e-mailing presse@lzh.de.

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