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In the Oil Industry, Lasers Make the Cut

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WOLFRAM RATH AND FRANK GAEBLER, COHERENT INC.

Cutting or welding heavy metal requires higher laser output power than virtually any other type of materials processing application. In the oil industry, an important heavy metal cutting application is creating the slotted liners used to separate oil from well sediments such as sand and gravel. Traditionally, this was done with diffusion-cooled CO2 slab lasers, but now, kilowatt-class fiber lasers are poised to penetrate this market segment. Heavy metals, in this context, refer to substrates at least several millimeters in thickness where a multi-kilowatt-class laser competes against...Read full article

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