29 March 2000 Hardening and welding with high-power diode lasers
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Commercially available high power diode lasers (HPDLs) with output powers of up to 6 kW have been recognized as an interesting tool for industrial applications. In certain fields of application they offer many advantages over Nd:YAG and CO2 lasers because of their low maintenance, compact design and low capital costs. Examples of successful industrial implementation of HPDLs include plastic welding, surface hardening and heat conduction welding of stainless steel and aluminum. The joining of plastics with an HPDL offers the advantages of producing a weld seam with high strength, high consistency and superior appearance. One example is the keyless entry system introduced with the Mercedes E-class where the microelectronic circuits are embedded in a plastic housing. Other applications include instrument panels, cell phones, headlights and tail lights. Applications in the field of surface treatment of metals profit from the HPDL's inherent line-shaped focus and the homogeneous intensity distribution across this focus. An HPDL system is used within the industry to harden rails for coordinate measurement machines. This system contains a customized zoom optic to focus the laser light onto the rails. With the addition of a temperature control, even complex shapes can be hardened with a constant depth and minimum distortion.
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Bodo Ehlers, Hans-Joachim Herfurth, Stefan Heinemann, "Hardening and welding with high-power diode lasers", Proc. SPIE 3945, Laser Diodes and LEDs in Industrial, Measurement, Imaging, and Sensors Applications II; Testing, Packaging, and Reliability of Semiconductor Lasers V, (29 March 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.380556; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.380556

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