HANNOVER, Germany, June 30, 2015 — Lasers and glue could replace the solder used today to attach diamond segments to rotary blades used in stone cutting.
A new mobile, laser-based process for attaching and removing cutting segments virtually eliminates the thermal stress caused by soldering, which can warp blades and degrade cutting quality.
Developed by researchers at Laser Zentrum Hannover EV (LZH) and the Institute for Tool Research and Materials in Remscheid, the new process consists of four stages.
A pulsed laser system removes glue residues and impurities from a saw blade. Courtesy of Laser Zentrum Hannover.
First, the surfaces of the segments and saw blade are structured using a pulsed laser system. The segments are then glued onto the saw blade using a one-component epoxy resin adhesive, which is thermally hardened using a CW laser system.
When the segments reach the end of their life span, they are detached from the saw blade using the CW laser system. A pulsed laser system is then used to remove glue residues and impurities from the gluing partners, after which the blade can be refitted.
The adhesive allows for a homogeneous distribution of stress in the joining zone, and relatively high joining strength and vibration damping compared to solder.
For demonstration purposes, LZH has developed a mobile unit to refit blades at work sites. A blade refitted with the system has already been used successfully to cut granite, LZH said.
Development funding came from Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
For more information, visit www.lzh.de.