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Proceedings Paper

Processing with kW fibre lasers: advantages and limits
Author(s): A. Kratky; D. Schuöcker; G. Liedl
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Paper Abstract

Up-to-date fibre lasers produce multi-kw radiation with an excellent beam quality. Compared to CO2-lasers, fibre lasers have relatively low operational costs and offer a very high flexibility in production due to the beam delivery with process fibres. As a consequence, fibre lasers have attracted more and more attention. On the other hand, their use in industrial applications especially in the automotive industry is still limited to a certain extent and fibre lasers haven't replaced all other laser sources till now as it could be expected. In laser cutting, the small kerf width produced by fibre lasers should be advantageous since the heated volume is smaller compared to CO2-lasers. In fact, cutting velocities are usually much higher which is also caused by the higher absorption coefficient of most metals at the wavelength emitted by fibre lasers. Nevertheless, cutting with fibre lasers of some metals - e.g. stainless steels - is restricted to a small thicknesses of approx. 5mm. The reason for this is that the surface roughness of the edges increases dramatically with the thickness of the work piece. Applications of fibre lasers include e.g. remote welding or even remote cutting of a large variety of materials with usually excellent results. Due to the excellent beam quality the aspect ratio of the weld seam in relation to the penetration depth is quite good. In the case of thin sheet metal welding such a small beam waist is beneficial - but with thicker sheet metals it is very often disadvantageous since the preparation of samples is more complicated, costs increase and requirements on clamping devices rise. In this paper, advantages and disadvantages of fibre lasers are discussed briefly. Applications of a 1.5 kW fibre laser are presented and compared to classical laser systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 April 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7131, XVII International Symposium on Gas Flow, Chemical Lasers, and High-Power Lasers, 71311X (21 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.816655
Show Author Affiliations
A. Kratky, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
D. Schuöcker, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
G. Liedl, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7131:
XVII International Symposium on Gas Flow, Chemical Lasers, and High-Power Lasers
Rui Vilar; Olinda Conde; Marta Fajardo; Luís O. Silva; Margarida Pires; Andrei Utkin, Editor(s)

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