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High-power VCSEL systems for composite manufacturing

News International-French

22 Feb 2016

JEC World 2016 - New kilowatt laser sources based on VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) micro-laser arrays are delivering directed rectangular beams of well-controlled near-infrared power.

The target area can be treated directly, without expensive optics or scanner systems, thereby realizing considerable cost advantages compared to conventional laser systems. The robust and compact laser modules are easily integrated into industrial heating applications and production processes.

An electronic driver system enables precise control and fast switching of the infrared power. Beyond that, the individual emission zones of the VCSEL source can be controlled independently, thereby enabling adjustment not only of the total power, but also of the spatial heating profile. The heating patterns can even be changed dynamically during operation, enabling an unprecedented level of process flexibility.

For carbon fibre placement/tape laying, the new VCSEL heat sources offer an attractive alternative to flames, halogen lamps or fibre coupled lasers. Depending on materials and process parameters, partial tacking up to full consolidation can be realized. The benefits of the VCSEL systems include:

  • High process speed with a power density of 100 W/cm²
  • Localized heat to the target, not the surroundings
  • Precisely controllable, dynamic heating profiles
  • Very compact source head
  • Scalable working width, adaptable to tape formats
  • Lower system cost than with conventional laser systems

Booth: E62