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Proceedings Paper

FEL for the polymer processing industries
Author(s): Michael J. Kelley
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Paper Abstract

Polymers are everywhere in modern life because of their unique combination of end-use functionalities, ease of processing, recycling potential and modest cost. The physical and economic scope of the infrastructure committed to present polymers makes the introduction of entirely new chemistry unlikely. Rather, the breadth of commercial offerings more likely to shrink in the face of the widening mandate for recycling, especially of packaging. Improved performance and new functionality must therefore come by routes such as surface modification. However they must come with little environmental impact and at painfully low cost. Processing with strongly absorbed light offers unique advantages. The journal and patent literatures disclose a number of examples of benefits that can be achieved, principally by use of excimer lasers or special UV lamps. Examples of commercialization are few, however, because of the unit cost and maximum scale of existing light sources. A FEL, however, offers unique advantages: tunability to the optimum wavelength, potential for scale up to high average power, and a path to attractively low unit cost of light. A business analysis of prospective applications defines the technical and economic requirements a FEL for polymer surface processing must meet. These are compared to FEL technology as it now stands and as it is envisioned.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 May 1997
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 2988, Free-Electron Laser Challenges, (15 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.274386
Show Author Affiliations
Michael J. Kelley, DuPont Central Research (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2988:
Free-Electron Laser Challenges
Patrick G. O'Shea; Harold E. Bennett, Editor(s)

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