13 Apr 2015Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) is presenting what it calls "a range of innovative approaches for the production of the future" at its second appearance at the Hannover Fair, as part of the Lower Saxony Pavilion.
The company stated, "Based on current research projects, LZH is presenting on how laser technology is making industrial processing more efficient, and how it can be used for individualized manufacturing, for making lightweight construction suitable for mass production and for smart components."
Reinforcement and repair of components subject to high stress must be fast and cost-efficient. "This can be achieved in a single step using a laser-stabilized deposition welding process developed at the LZH," the statement continued. "Our process is at least two to three times faster than conventional gas metal arc processes."
Gluing instead of soldering
LZH is also showcasing laser treatments as alternatives to metal soldering, proposing that: "in a further innovative process, diamond cutting segments on saw blades can easily be replaced. Laser radiation can be used to dissolve the glue, clean the saw blade from residues, and then to harden epoxy resins, with competitive bonding strengths."
Laser additive manufacturing is pushing the limits of conventional production technologies. LZH is also showing how individual implants, replacement parts, and lightweight construction parts can be manufactured from magnesium, and it argues that such structures "can even withstand high loads".
Also on show is how laser technology can be deployed to process fiber composite materials automatically and contact-free. The LZH says it is working on novel processes for cutting, drilling, material removal and joining, in order to make lightweight construction in the automotive and aeronautical industries suitable for mass production.
The well-regarded research and development center is presenting "smart" devices, featuring integrated compact sensors, which it describes as being able to "feel“ strain, deformation and vibrations; "laser structuring can be used to place sensors directly onto components. Such sensors hardly take up any space, and enable measurements that are more exact."
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Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.