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LASERSYSTEMS EUROPE


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


8


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


12


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


14


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


24


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 greg.blackman@europascience.com Tel: +44 (0)1223 221042 Editor: Matthew Dale matthew.dale@europascience.com Tel: +44 (0)1223 221047


Advertising team Advertising manager: Jon Hunt jon.hunt@europascience.com Tel: +44 (0)1223 221049 Production manager: David Houghton production@europascience.com Tel: +44 (0)1223 221034


Corporate team Managing director: Warren Clark warren.clark@europascience.com


Laser Systems Europe is published by Europa Science Ltd, 4 Signet Court, Cambridge, CB5 8LA, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1223 221030 Fax: +44 (0)1223 213385 Web: www.europascience.com l ISSN: 1759-0752


Subscriptions: Free registrations available to qualifying individuals. Subscriptions £120 per year for four issues to readers outside registration requirements. Enquiries to Europa Science, 4 Signet Court, Cambridge CB5 8LA, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1223 221030. Fax: +44 (0)1223 213385. ©2021 Europa Science Ltd.


While every care has been taken in the compilation of this magazine, errors or omissions are not the responsibility of the publishers or of the editorial staff. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers or editorial staff. All rights reserved. Unless specifically stated, goods or services mentioned are not formally endorsed by Europa Science Ltd, which does not guarantee or endorse or accept any liability for any goods and/or services featured in this publication. US copies: Laser Systems Europe is published by Europa Science Ltd and distributed in the US by DSW, 75 Aberdeen Road, Emigsville PA 17318-0437. Periodicals postage paid at Emigsville PA.


Postmaster: Send US address changes to Laser Systems Europe, PO Box 437, Emigsville PA 17318-0437.


Cover: Shutterstock


Subscribe online for FREE at www.lasersystemseurope.com/subscribe


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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SUMMER 2021 LASER SYSTEMS EUROPE 3


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