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  • Liverpool Lab Adds Yb Laser
Nov 2010
LIVERPOOL, England, Nov. 18, 2010 — Liverpool John Moores University has equipped its Photonics in Engineering (PiE) research laboratory with a next-generation high-power ytterbium (Yb) fiber laser from JK Lasers in Rugby.

The PiE group, based in the university’s General Engineering Research Institute, will now have four industrial lasers from JK Lasers, ideally suited to pursuing research into welding, cutting, drilling and micromachining applications.

The JK fiber laser complements the existing JK700 series pulsed Nd:YAG laser perfectly and opens up new applications in high-speed machining of metals and composite materials.

The photonics in engineering group, led by Dr. Martin Sharp, is using JK Lasers’ systems in a wide variety of applications in projects ranging from laser micromachining of polymeric material for the biomedical sector to macro laser processing of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP, “Composites”) for aerospace and automotive applications.

“We recognized that if lasers are going to be part of the aerospace industry in the future, we must find successful processing parameters for CFRP,” said Dr. Paul French, another founding member of the PiE group, and lead composites researcher.

PiE has procured its own JK400FL system to carry on the composites work, following successful processing trials using a JK200FL, 200-W fiber laser at JK Lasers. A number of research groups around the world are investigating laser processing of CFRP using mainly UV laser systems or ultrashort picosecond or femtosecond lasers. The work at PiE is novel in that it is investigating the processing of CFRP materials using a laser source that produces a continuous or modulated laser beam and whose capital cost is a fraction of the more expensive ultrashort-pulse lasers.

“A number of aerospace companies are excited by the results so far, and with a concerted effort, I am confident we can produce the results that will allow the aerospace and automotive sector to implement the technology on the shop floor,” French reported. “This could be a very important market for fiber laser sales in the future.”

Sharp added that he believes that the powerful control system and fully integrated process tools within the JK fiber lasers offer a high degree of flexibility for the group’s materials processing research and could prove invaluable in demonstrating robust process solutions to industry.

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The process of forming a lens to a given pattern, or of cutting a piece of glass along the line of scratch.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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