NEXTCUT - Multi wavelength diode laser source for cutting applications

Jon Blackburn from TWI talks about the LEA NEXTCUT.

Rock system with diode laser sources
© Limo

Rock system with diode laser sources

Challenges

A major goal of the assessment is to combine up to four wavelengths from 808nm to 980nm in one laser system in order to deliver 2kW of continuous power. Furthermore, the diode system solution has to contain integrated beam delivery and beam shaping optics to provide laser radiation through a fibre of 200µm core diameter and numerical aperture of 0.2 which altogether must be suitable for cutting a defined set of metals.

Benefit

The successful completion of the NEXTCUT assessment will bring a technologically robust diode solution for cutting of metals to the market. Laser Expertise and EWF as users will have targeted the laser source and its beam delivery and shaping at market requirements by testing it in a production-like environment. After an analysis of the laser material interaction and the cutting quality, final product features will be established including the expected high wall-plug efficiency.

SME end users and other European job-shops will employ the new laser system, which has the advantages of reduced energy consumption and low requirements on floor space and infrastructure. With its flexibility in combining application specific laser power, wavelength spectrum and beam quality, the diode-based laser system can be optimised according to the best performance-cost ratio for the specific user's applications. This will enable flexibility on the shop floor, an increase in services offered to customers and reductions in production time and costs.

Achievement

As of yet, the NEXTCUT assessment has succeeded in the stepwise improvement of cut quality for different thicknesses of stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum alloy and nickel 718 alloy. Laser Expertise and EWF as end-users target the laser source and its beam delivery and shaping at market requirements by testing it in a production- like environment. After having analyzed the laser material interaction as well as the cut quality, the expected high wall-plug efficiency can be established. From an economic perspective, end-users Laser Expertise and EWF profit from reduced energy consumption and low requirements on both floor space and infrastructure. The diode-based laser system of NEXTCUT is flexible in combining application- specific laser power, wavelength spectrum and beam quality, and there is still room for even more improvement. By providing flexibility on the shop floor, the customer benefits from an increase in service offered to customers and reduction in production time and costs. With LASHARE and our partners from LIMO, Laser Expertise, EWF and TWI it is possible to apply our research to the current market in the best way possible.

LEA Partners

Supplier User Research Partner