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Lasers Restore Classic Cars

Photonics Spectra
May 1998
The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Aachen, Germany, restores classic roadsters, such as vintage Jaguars, using a new laser coating technique. For the last year, engineers have repaired defective turbine components, worn gears and cracked cylinder blocks using CO2 lasers from Rofin-Sinar Laser GmbH in Hamburg and Trumpf GmbH in Ditzingen, Germany. For certain applications, they also use Nd:YAG lasers developed by Haas Laser Technologies Inc. in Landing, N.J.


Engineers apply a coating material such as a metal powder to the damaged component. They then target the laser to the damaged area, melting both the coating material and a small area of the part itself, creating a strong new coating.


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