The three-year European project, PolyBright, has now been concluded. The project looked to develop laser welding systems for joining polymers that would be able to compete with conventional joining technologies.
Three laser welding prototype machines using a high-brilliance (fibre) laser have been developed, two of which will be exhibited from 16-23 October at the K2013 plastic trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany.
The first prototype – a flexible dynamic mask welding unit developed by Leister (CH) – can change weld contour within minutes due to the use of a Liquid-Crystal-on-Silicon (LCoS) reflective mirror. Additionally, with the built-in scanner and beam shaping facility using transmissive diffractive optical elements, contour welding and quasi-simultaneous welding is feasible as well. The beam source is a polarized fibre laser, emitting at 1,070nm with 70W maximum output power.
The second system is a scanner and axes QSLW machine developed by Cencorp (FI), which can apply various laser contour welding methods, including contour, contour TWIST and quasi-simultaneous, over a large working area.
The third machine is the TWIST prototype developed by Arges (DE), IPG (DE) and ILT (DE). It is based on a 1,567nm fibre laser and includes a wavelength-adapted scanner for TWIST contour welding process. The 1,567nm, instead of the regular 1,070nm fibre laser wavelength, means highly opaque coloured polymers can be welded.
The Dynamic Mask as well as the Quasi-Simultaneous prototype will be exhibited during this year’s K2013 plastics trade fair, 16-23 October in Düsseldorf, Germany.