Lasers continue to offer superior alternative to conventional processing

Matthew Dale, editor

In this issue we see some prime examples of how laser technology continues to optimise applications currently undertaken via conventional processes.

On page 12, for example, we find out News 4

Laser market down two per cent in 2020 l Global chip shortage affects production of laser drilling machines l Oxygen shortage hits laser cutting units in India l ‘Laser paintbrush’ to enable drawing on metals l Researchers devise low-cost process monitoring technique

Feature: Artificial intelligence Analysis: Ultrafast lasers Analysis: Aerospace News from AILU

Dave MacLellan shares his experience in hosting and participating in virtual events


Keely Portway looks at how artificial intelligence can benefit users of industrial laser systems


Matthew Dale learns how ultrafast lasers can now be used to bond transparent materials to metals


Greg Blackman on the benefits of laser welding titanium aircraft components

16 Products

The latest equipment for industrial laser processing

LIA News

How lasers are being used across the globe to benefit the environment l Professor Jyotirmoy Mazumder in memoriam

Application focus: Polishing

Suppliers’ directory Find the suppliers you need


Laser polishing could serve as a resourceful alternative to traditional methods for finishing additively manufactured parts

26 21 18

how ultrafast lasers can now be used to bond transparent materials to metals, for use in electro-optics assembly and to achieve hermetic sealing. The process has the potential to replace conventional methods such as adhesive bonding, soldering and mechanical fastening, each of which present their own disadvantages. Known as ‘ultrafast laser microwelding’, the new process is ready for pre-production trials and is generating interest in numerous sectors due to the plethora of applications it can be used in. Meanwhile, on page 24 we learn

how lasers could be used to replace polishing methods currently achieved using electrochemical or mechanical means. Laser polishing offers a non- contact, automatable and economical alternative capable of polishing even the most intricate parts both inside and out. The process shows promise in the medical sector for polishing additively manufactured implants. The article on page 14 shows us

Supported by the LIA

Editorial and administrative team Managing editor: Greg Blackman Tel: +44 (0)1223 221042 Editor: Matthew Dale Tel: +44 (0)1223 221047

Advertising team Advertising manager: Jon Hunt Tel: +44 (0)1223 221049 Production manager: David Houghton Tel: +44 (0)1223 221034

Corporate team Managing director: Warren Clark

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how laser welds could replace rivet joints in thin-sheet structures for aerospace, with tests showing that the joint fatigue of laser welds can equal or even better that of rivet joints. With this development, manufacturing complexity and cost of certain aerospace structures could ultimately be reduced by switching to laser welding, which requires fewer processing steps than rivet joining.



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