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Laser heating of high-temperature composites

News International-French

25 Feb 2014

JEC Europe 2014 - A laser-based heating system has been developed for use with both thermoplastic and thermoset automated fibre placement (AFP) equipment.

The system utilizes a high-power laser and specialized optics to precisely heat carbon fibre prepreg, significantly improving upon the capabilities of hot gas and infrared lamp based equipment. Real-time monitoring of the composite surface temperature allows for a complete record of the manufacturing process.

Combined with a near-instantaneous response time, the composite temperature can be held within ±10°C. This results in a more predictable product with less variability and uncertainty. Since the laser beam has a precise perimeter and an extremely high heating efficiency, the heat-affected zone is minimized, further enhancing part quality and improving processing speed by two to three times.

Targeted at high-temperature, high-speed AFP, the laser heating system is available as an option on new Automated Dynamics AFP work cells or as a retrofit onto other AFP machines.

More information:
Booth: M63b