05 Jul 2023
Specialized lasers, components, and solutions for materials processing – including for moon rock processing.LASER World of Photonics exhibition, Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) presented some of its latest developments in the field of smart optics. The institute showcased a range of innovations, including specialized lasers, laser components, and individual complete solutions for laser materials processing.
The developments and systems presented ranged from solutions for “classical laser material processing of metals, plastics, and composite materials to additive manufacturing with glass or lunar dust”. Other highlights were the new possibilities in coating processes for the future of optics manufacturing.
LZH stated, “At the fair, we presented highly specialized laser systems. Our individual, non-commercially available lasers can be assembled according to the modular principle, thus tailored efficiently and precisely to customer requirements.”
The institute had taken note of the requirements of customers and partners for individual laser components to develop customer-specific, fiber-optic components – such as signal-pump-combiners or cladding-light-strippers from simulation to production.
The Multispot customized laser processing heads offer “modularly controllable” laser spots for temperature-field-adapted welding can join plastic to plastic, but also for plastic to metal, over large areas.
The coaxial multi-diode processing head Dicolas, specified for laser deposition welding, enables components to be processed independently of direction and complex structures as well as high-strength and corrosion-resistant surfaces to be produced for heavily loaded components.
Also developed at LZH and presented was the latest generation IBK laser internal processing head. This is used in the automotive industry. The IBK can roughen the inner cylinder surfaces of aluminum engine blocks, thus preparing them for the necessary wear-resistant coating and making engine production much more efficient.
For applications ranging from the food industry to life sciences to space research solutions developed at the LZH are used in a wide variety of fields. Be it in laser-based weed and pest control or in endoprosthetics, where lasers can be used to segment bone cement inside the bone during hip operations, making it easier to remove.
LZH also demonstrated how additive manufacturing with materials such as glass or magnesium can be used to produce customized products. The institute showcased a challenging project in the field of 3D printing: additive manufacturing with lunar dust directly on the Moon; LZH is developing such a laser as well as the associated customized processes.
The goal here is to demonstrate that laser melting works on the Moon – and could be used in the future to produce locally manufactured infrastructure such as roads or buildings.
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