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Proceedings Paper

Vacuum fiber-fiber coupler
Author(s): Axel Heinrici; Goran Bjelajac; Jeroen Jonkers; Stefan Jakobs; Simon Olschok; Uwe Reisgen
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Paper Abstract

Research and development carried out by the ISF Welding and Joining Institute of RWTH Aachen University has proven that combining high power laser and low vacuum atmosphere provides a welding performance and quality, which is comparable to electron beam welding. The developed welding machines are still using a beam forming which takes place outside the vacuum and the focusing laser beam has to be introduced to the vacuum via a suitable window. This inflexible design spoils much of the flexibility of modern laser welding. With the target to bring a compact, lightweight flying optics with flexible laser transport fibers into vacuum chambers, a high power fiber-fiber coupler has been adapted by II-VI HIGHYAG that includes a reliable vacuum interface. The vacuum-fiber-fiber coupler (V-FFC) is tested with up to 16 kW sustained laser power and the design is flexible in terms of a wide variety of laser fiber plug systems and vacuum flanges. All that is needed to implement the V-FFC towards an existing or planned vacuum chamber is an aperture of at least 100 mm (4 inch) diameter with any type of vacuum or pressure flange. The V-FFC has a state-of-the-art safety interface which allows for fast fiber breakage detection for both fibers (as supported by fibers) by electric wire breakage and short circuit detection. Moreover, the System also provides connectors for cooling and electric signals for the laser beam optics inside the vacuum. The V-FFC has all necessary adjustment options for coupling the laser radiation to the receiving fiber.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 February 2017
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10097, High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Applications, Diagnostics, and Systems VI, 100970F (22 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2250335
Show Author Affiliations
Axel Heinrici, HIGHYAG Lasertechnologie GmbH (Germany)
Goran Bjelajac, HIGHYAG Lasertechnologie GmbH (Germany)
Jeroen Jonkers, HIGHYAG Lasertechnologie GmbH (Germany)
Stefan Jakobs, RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany)
Simon Olschok, RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany)
Uwe Reisgen, RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10097:
High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Applications, Diagnostics, and Systems VI
Stefan Kaierle; Stefan W. Heinemann, Editor(s)

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