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10 kw co2 laser modules and related systems

Lift the actual limitations of the diffusion of high power
laser manufacturing systems in industry by gas excitation
techniques, optical power extraction and innovative welding
and heat treatment procedures.

The planned activities are aimed towards the following general objectives: a. Design and development of modular and compact CW CO2 laser sources at a nominal power level of 10 kW per module using innovative techniques for the excitation of the active medium, for gas transport and conditioning and for optical power extraction. Facilities are to be provided to combine, if required, up to at least three moduli. b. Design and development of high power transmission and reflection optical components for the laser sources of the above point and for the related systems with special attention to beam switching, beam transport and beam shaping optical systems. The related mechanical systems such as articulated arms or other flexible optical beams transport systems shall also be considered. c. The above results will be integrated in the design and implementation of three kinds of workstation prototypes devoted to the definition and testing of processes and systems for welding, surface treatments and robotics applications. The workstations will be equipped with one or more modular prototypes of the 10 kW laser as mentioned in point a. and with the beam switching, transport and shaping systems as from point b. The above objectives have been defined according to the following requirements and trends of European industry: - in recent years, a substantial increase in the industrial diffusion of materials processing systems using medium power lasers was observed in Europe mainly driven by the automotive industry which up to now requires powers up to the 5 kW level. New applications are starting in other areas such as aerospace, energy, steel and shipbuilding industries requiring powers in the 10 kW range. - Qualified European laser manufacturers, capable of designing and manufacturing high power CO2 laser sources are present in the team. They can efficiently cooperate in the above-defined areas exploiting on an industrial basis the result of the research programmes. - In a similar way manufacturing and R & D activities are in progress in the participating country on high power reflective optical components for laser sources and material processing systems. The extension of these activities to the design and manufacturing of high power transmissive elements is expected in the short term, thus providing one possible reference point in Europe for the supply of high power optical components. - Machine tooling industries capable of designing and manufacturing sophisticated laser materials processing systems at the few kW level competitive with the best international production are present in the team. The extension of the existing industrial expertise to systems operating at higher power levels is an expected result of this program.
Acronym: 
CO2L
Project ID: 
180
Start date: 
15-09-1987
Project Duration: 
96months
Project costs: 
99 890 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.