New technological developments in high power disk lasers emitting at 1030 nm are presented. These include the latest generation of TRUMPF’s TruDisk product line offering high power disk lasers with up to 6 kW output power and beam qualities of up to 4 mm*mrad. With these compact devices a footprint reduction of 50% compared to the previous model could be achieved while at the same time improving robustness and increasing system efficiency. In the context of Industry 4.0, the new generation of TruDisk lasers features a synchronized data recording of all sensors, offering high-quality data for virtual analyses. The lasers therefore provide optimal hardware requirements for services like Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance. We will also discuss its innovative and space-saving cooling architecture. It allows operation of the laser under very critical ambient conditions. <p> </p>Furthermore, an outlook on extending the new disk laser platform to higher power levels will be given. We will present a disk laser with 8 kW laser power out of a single disk with a beam quality of 5 mm*mrad using a 125 μm fiber, which makes it ideally suited for cutting and welding applications. <p> </p>The flexibility of the disk laser platform also enables the realization of a wide variety of beam guiding setups. As an example a new scheme called BrightLine Weld will be discussed. This technology allows for an almost spatter free laser welding process, even at high feed rates.
Due to their numerous advantages in system technology, especially fiber optic beam delivery, solid state lasers have become state of the art for welding. Even so the obstacle of the so called "spatter regime" has been waiting for an industrial solution in order to gain high productivity.<p> </p>In general the spatter regime occurs in a distinct welding speed range. With deep penetration welding applications like in power train the spatter regime shows up at welding speeds of 5 to 6 m/min. Beyond 6 m/min the mass loss due to weld spatter reaches a level resulting in undercuts of the weld seam and potentially internal porosity, both of which reduce the mechanical strength properties of the part. Moreover, if spatter particles are present or dislodged when welded parts are being assembled, the gear box itself may incur in-service damage.<p> </p>This report presents recent results addressing this problem and demonstrates significantly reduced spatter when welding at high speed, which today has only been achievable with CO<sub>2</sub> laser beam welding. This new process approach is based on applying the disk laser with a special new beam forming method. The welding speed can be increased significantly and the energy efficiency of the process can be reduced dramatically.