San Francisco's Photonics West, the world's premier optics and photonics trade fair, aims to bring together science and industry once again in 2018. Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be putting on an effective demonstration of how to converge the two. The Aachen-based company's booth in the German Pavilion is primed to showcase cutting-edge technology, such as a 90% lighter laser cutting head and a laser platform for space applications.
Photonics experts from around the world will make their annual pilgrimage to San Francisco in late January. Their destination is SPIE Photonics West, a symposium with an extensive program featuring more than 5,200 presentations and a major exhibition with some 1,300 companies.
Image 1: This laser cutting head with diamond optics features built-in water cooling and shielding gas supply; diamond lenses reduce its weight by 90%.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany
Fraunhofer ILT will be there, as usual. The Aachen-based institute's forte is laser technology for industrial applications. Fraunhofer ILT’s spectrum is broad, ranging from beam source development and additive processes to Industry 4.0.
Diamond lenses for 90% lighter laser optics
ILT's researchers teamed up with Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg and fellow Aachen-based Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT to develop a new laser optics with diamond lenses. Fraunhofer IAF optimized the production of monocrystalline diamonds, while Fraunhofer IPT worked on ultra-precision tools for machining diamond surfaces. Their efforts paid off: it is now possible to produce diamond substrates with diameters as wide as 10 mm.
Diamonds' refractive index is very high at 2.4. They also conduct heat remarkably well. These properties enable engineers to scale laser optics down to much smaller dimensions. The laser cutting head developed at the Fraunhofer ILT is 90% lighter than comparable conventional components with glass lenses.
The diamond lenses and a 1 kW fiber laser underwent an initial set of successful trials in 2017. This combination was able to cut 1.5 mm stainless steel without any difficulties. Now the team is working on an upgrade to achieve higher performance. Project Manager Martin Traub says, “Individual components have been tested for 2 kW, but we're particularly interested in 4 kW.”
New diode laser technology for energy-efficient materials processing
Fraunhofer ILT also wrapped up the BRIDLE project, an initiative to develop fiber-coupled diode lasers, in 2016. One of its objectives was to investigate laser diodes' dense wavelength coupling for demanding materials processing applications such as laser cutting. Researchers expect that it will not be long before diode laser-based beam sources provide the winning combination of optimum energy efficiency, very good beam characteristics and competitive manufacturing costs.
The team built a demonstrator that successfully coupled five wavelengths from different emitters on one bar into one 35 µm fiber. Its output power is 46 W, but various options allow for further scaling. Another system with around 800 W output from a fiber with a core diameter of 100 µm has also proven its merits in cutting tests.
FULAS – the platform for space-borne lasers
Fraunhofer ILT's experts have been working on laser systems for aerospace applications for many years. These efforts have culminated in the Future Laser System, or FULAS for short. Tomorrow's laser and optical systems for the aerospace industry will be built on the foundation of this universal platform.
FULAS not only features space-grade components; this platform also comes with semi-automated assembly technology. The FULAS demonstrator passed environmental qualification tests conducted in Airbus Defence and Space's climate chamber. Researchers are now developing and building the beam source for the MERLIN mission.
Fraunhofer ILT at Photonics West 2018
Fraunhofer ILT will set up shop in booth 4529-27 at the Photonics West Exhibition and will give several presentations. For more information: www.ilt.fraunhofer.de/en/fairs-and-events/fairs/photonics-west-2018.html
Dipl.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.Ing. Martin Traub
Group Manager Optics Design and Diode Lasers
Telephone +49 241 8906-342
Petra Nolis M.A. | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai
15.06.2018 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.
Insects supply chitin as a raw material for the textile industry
05.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
25.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences