Conference on Laser Polishing to again examine emerging technology

The Fraunhofer ILT will again host the LaP on September 12-13.

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IMAGE. Laser-polished sphere made out of BK7. Courtesy Fraunhofer ILT

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT (Aachen, Germany) will again host the Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP on September 12-13, 2018. More than 70 participants from industry and research are expected attend this third LaP.

Laser polishing is a relatively new process that has only been used for selected fields of applications in the industry; for example, machining metals for toolmaking and automotive engineering, as well as processing glass optics. Before 2014, the pioneers of this process did not have the opportunity to exchange research results in a wider, international context, which is why Fraunhofer ILT launched the first LaP conference in 2014.

“If you look at the specialist literature, more than 80% of the research groups working on the topic worldwide have attended the LaP conference so far,” says Edgar Willenborg, Head of the Laser Polishing Group at Fraunhofer ILT. “Researchers from all over the world have come to the conference.” While the majority of the 20 lectures come from academia, the participants have come roughly equally from industry and research.

He continues, “Researchers are concentrating more and more on the properties of surfaces relevant to specific applications. In the beginning, it was primarily about lowering the roughness, but now more and more functional tests and application tests are being added.” For example, users would like to eliminate microdefects to increase the lifetime of a metallic component, or to polish particularly complex optical glass surfaces. One of the new applications, covered for the first time at LaP, is the laser polishing of additively manufactured components made of plastic.

One conference goal is to create a broad, scientific basis for the industrial use of laser polishing. With the laser, complex geometries can be polished automatically, reproducibly, and significantly faster. While the quality of laser polishing for many applications is already sufficient, the processing speed must be increased. “Accelerating laser polishing is currently an important trend, as it makes the process economical for a wide range of applications,” adds Willenborg.

For more information: 3rd Conference on Laser Polishing LaP 2018

IMAGE. From September 12-13, experts from all over the world will meet for the third time in Aachen for the Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP. Courtesy Fraunhofer ILT

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