REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Oct. 12 -- TRW Inc. reports that the cutting capabilities of its DP-23 industrial solid-state laser could lead to new manufacturing applications and lower the cost of production of aircraft, spacecraft, helicopters, automobiles and heavy equipment.In company tests, the 3-kW Nd:YAG diode-pumped solid-state laser was able to cut one-half-inch-thick titanium at a rate of 24 inches per minute; one-quarter-inch-thick titanium was cut at a speed of 90 inches per minute. The laser also cut a nickel alloy, Inconel 600, at thicknesses of up to 1.5 inches with oxygen-assist gas. Using argon-assist gas, the DP-23 cut material one inch thick at 2.5 inches per minute. In addition, the laser achieved narrow-cut widths, or kerfs, ranging from one-tenth to three-tenths of an inch across. The tests were conducted at TRW's Precision Laser Machining Application Center.