Research & development
For the laser applications of tomorrow
While today we realize applications that solve existing production problems due to the specific laser properties, we are working in parallel on the applications of tomorrow. More than 30% of our activities are invested in research and development for future applications.
The ongoing research projects are funded by the following promoters:
The mechanical processing of fiber reinforced plastics poses a special challenge due to the combination of a comparatively soft polymer matrix with high-strength fibers. Since the cutting materials for machining can not be optimized simultaneously for both material components, the tools are at best a compromise, which often results in high wear results. The water jet cutting meets the requirements only limited and is limited in terms of feed speed.
As a non-contact and wear-free tool, the laser beam provides good conditions for processing fiber-reinforced plastics. Due to the thermal effect, however, special measures must be taken to minimize the heat input into the component and the material damage to the cutting edge.
As part of the CO-COMPACT project, LASER on demand, together with the project partners LZH and Element, developed new solutions for the production of fiber-reinforced components. Thanks to a specially adapted process control, it has been possible to produce cut edges whose mechanical and technological properties are comparable to milled edges. The method has been demonstrated on the sample component "clip". The use of multiple scan heads allows the quasi-simultaneous processing of three-dimensional components without loss of time.
In two current research projects, which are being carried out in cooperation with the Laser Zentrum Hannover, we are expanding the processing options: As part of the carboDRILL XL project, the cutting process is transferred to trephine drilling and the development of a special laser head for parametric laser processing. In addition, we are working in the INDULAS project on inductively assisted laser welding of fiber-reinforced plastics with a thermoplastic matrix.
In lightweight construction for mobility applications, a material mix is increasingly being used in which a material can ideally contribute its properties for the respective area of application. This has the consequence that for the production of mixed compounds of different materials joining technical solutions must be provided.
Of particular interest is the joining of steel and aluminum components, as used for example in shipbuilding. While the hull is made of steel, the bodies should be made of aluminum for weight reasons. So far come at the junction blast-welded adapter pieces are used, which are limited in terms of their design freedom.
Laser beam welding enables the production of mixed steel-aluminum compounds, if the process is controlled so that the formation of intermetallic brittle phases is minimized. The same procedure has been developed in the context of the F&E project LaSAAS. Together with the project partners, LASER works on demand on the realization of adapted adapter components for the steel-aluminum transition in the structure.
Manual cutting underwater finds a wide field of application in the maritime industry. It ranges from traditional hydraulic engineering applications, such as the burning of sheet piling in docks or locks, the repair of ships to pipeline construction and in the field of offshore wind farms. The LuWaPro project enables a significant increase in productivity when cutting under water through the use of automated laser cutting.
Weapons from the world wars pose a serious threat to the civilian population and the existing infrastructure in Germany today and in the future. About 1.3 million tons of bombs were dropped across Germany, with a dud rate between 12% and 25% expected become. It can be assumed that not more than 60% of these bomb blabbers have already been evicted. The aim of the project DEFLAG is the development of a method based on modern laser technology for defusing World War II bombs by means of safe deflagration.
The developments of the industrial laser beam sources has led in recent years to ever larger laser powers with better beam quality and focusability. In addition, the beam sources are now so compact and efficient that they can also be used on the move. This leads to an increased demand for safety technology in order to protect the system operator from laser radiation.
As part of the PROSYS-LASER project, together with twelve other partners, personal protective equipment as well as large-area, flexible, textile-based shields were developed and tested. In addition to the passive protection (pure shielding), an active laser protection system was also presented, which automatically shuts off the laser beam if the protective device is exposed to excessive radiation and thus prevents the laser beam from passing through.
For mobile laser use, security requires special solutions because often the entire component can not be housed in a fixed protective cabin. Therefore, LASER on demand in the project ShipLight was responsible for the development and implementation of safety concepts in shipyard environments. A combination of technical, organizational and personal protection measures, which are implemented in close cooperation with the BG, also enables the secure implementation of such applications.
The project Non-chemical Weed Control by Laser Radiation in Plant Production (NUBELA) develops a module that combines optical weed detection with laser-based weed control and integrates it into driving systems. The research institute Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (Hannover) and the laser application service provider LASER on demand GmbH (Burgdorf) are cooperating with the laser system manufacturer IPG Laser GmbH (Burbach). The aim is to provide a technology that manages without the interference or side effects of conventional weed control methods.