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Proceedings Paper

New horizons for high-power lasers: applications in civil engineering
Author(s): Sivakumaran Wignarajah
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Paper Abstract

Although material processing with high power lasers has found widespread use in a variety of industries such as the automotive industry, electrical and electronics industries, aerospace industry etc., civil engineering construction is one field that has lagged behind in the use of lasers for material processing. This is in spite of the fact that a large variety of materials including ceramics, metals and plastics are used in very large quantities for civil engineering construction. The main reasons for the delay in the adopting of laser for processing construction material seem to be the high costs involved and the lack of sufficient power for processing heavy and thick materials. However, with the advent of more compact lasers with higher powers, higher efficiencies and lower photon costs, greater interest has been shown in recent years in the possible uses of high power lasers for material processing in the construction industry. The author traces some of the past work carried out both in Japan and abroad on the use of lasers in civil engineering, specially with respect to the processing of inorganic material such as concrete, natural stones, tiles and rocks. Recent developments regarding laser decontamination and laser assisted rock excavation are also introduced.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 January 2000
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3887, High-Power Lasers in Civil Engineering and Architecture, (14 January 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.375172
Show Author Affiliations
Sivakumaran Wignarajah, Taisei Corp. (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3887:
High-Power Lasers in Civil Engineering and Architecture
Sadao Nakai; Lloyd A. Hackel; Wayne C. Solomon, Editor(s)

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