Extending the process limits of laser polymer welding

Aachen, Germany--Since October 18, 2009, partners from 9 countries have been working together in the frame of PolyBright. The objective of PolyBright is to provide high-speed and flexible laser manufacturing technology and expand the limits of current plastic part assembly.

Aachen, Germany--Since October 18, 2009, partners from 9 countries have been working together in the frame of PolyBright. The objective of PolyBright is to provide high-speed and flexible laser manufacturing technology and expand the limits of current plastic part assembly. New laser polymer joining processes for optimized thermal management in combination with wavelength adapted polymers and additives will provide higher quality, high-processing speed up to 1 m/s and robust manufacturing processes at lower costs. Key innovations of the PolyBright project are high-brilliance mid-IR-wavelength fiber and diode lasers with powers up to 500 W, high-speed scanning, and flexible beam manipulation systems, such as dynamic masks and multi-kHz scanning heads.

The project covers the whole process chain for laser based plastic part assembly and includes laser companies, optics suppliers, material and processing specialists as well as machine suppliers. The developed machine equipment and the new laser process approaches will be validated by end users from medical, consumer goods, and automotive industry.

With this initial step, PolyBright will forge new paths in processing of advanced plastic products overcoming the quality and speed limitations of conventional plastic part assembly. PolyBright will, thus, open new markets for laser systems with short-term potential of several hundred laser installations per year and a future much larger market share in a multi-billion dollar plastics market. PolyBright will establish a comprehensive and sustainable development activity on new high-brilliance lasers that will strengthen the EU’s laser system industry.

For more information, visit www.polybright.eu.

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