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In Auto Making, Lasers Take the Lead

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AACHEN, Germany, May 20, 2011 — Automotive manufacturers are looking to lasers for more efficient and economical production methods. Lasers are being used to join, drill, structure, cut and shape various materials to reduce weight and friction while streamlining the production process. To reduce weight and thereby energy costs, manufacturers increasingly are turning to fiber-reinforced plastics, which are 30 to 50 percent lighter than metal. The problem is that these new materials are difficult to process. Fiber-reinforced plastics are brittle, which means the cutting and drilling tools are quickly worn out, and the...Read full article

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