Fraunhofer ILT puts TWIST on plastic welding

Aug. 28, 2009
The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT; Aachen, Germany) has developed a novel, compact, and industry ready plant concept to laser weld plastics using fiber lasers. Using the Transmission Welding by an Incremental Scanning Technique (TWIST) radiation concept, a quick, temporal, and localized beam modulation process improves plastic welding.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT; Aachen, Germany) has developed a novel, compact, and industry ready plant concept to laser weld plastics using fiber lasers. Using the Transmission Welding by an Incremental Scanning Technique (TWIST) radiation concept, a quick, temporal, and localized beam modulation process improves plastic welding.

When compared to standardized laser plastic welding plants, TWIST significantly reduces investment costs as well as plant size, and is nearly maintenance-free. Furthermore, the new plant concept is characterized by its higher process speed and flexibility when structuring welding contours, as compared to conventional joining methods. Hence, it is particularly suitable for small and medium series, which require quick retooling.

By using new laser wavelengths in combination with the TWIST concept, operators are now able to weld transparent components together without an infrared absorber and at high speeds. To bond metal with commercially available plastics, the Fraunhofer ILT has developed a laser-supported joining process that can dispense with using additional material. A suitable structuring of the metal's surface at high speed allows form fit joints to be attained above the bonds with high strength.

For more information, go to www.ilt.fraunhofer.de.

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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