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The Lambda 421 optical beam combiner is a new, patented, concept for combining separate light sources with different spectra
into a single common output beam. Each separate light source is collimated before entering the optical path through a bandpass
filter. The filters for each light source also function as mirrors that reflect the collimated beams from the previous light sources.
• 4 Channel ultra high speed LED light source
•Advanced control methods
•Supported in nearly all 3rd party software suites
•All common liquid light guide connections
37 Laser Focus World www.laserfocusworld.com November 2017
be guided around the workpiece to form
a full circle or other shapes (see Fig. 3).
Surface modification of steel
Cutting and welding remain the biggest
applications for industrial lasers, but
new high-power applications arise every
day. thyssenkrupp Steel Europe (TKSE;
Duisburg, Germany) produces high-performance sheet metal for the automo-
tive industry. Such material is required
to possess extreme properties: it should
be very stiff to enable weight reductions
in the car body without compromising
stability, offer plasticity for forming pro-
cesses such as deep-drawing, and withstand corrosion.
A German research consortium led
by TKSE developed a process to mod-
ify the surface of steel strip materials
(the OSLO project). With feed speeds
more than 50 m/min and band sizes
beyond 300 mm, extreme high powers
were required to modify the steel sur-
face on-the-fly. LIMO developed special
microoptics that transformed the beam
of a 15 k W laser diode system into a 300
× 0.05 mm laser line.
The short-time melting changes the
crystalline structure of the metal surface
and leads not only to much improved corrosion resistance, but also to a very pleasant appearance.
This is a typical case of surface func-
tionalization where advanced materi-
al science meets advanced laser optics.
With a similar process, the Ni coatings
on some bearings are hardened, leading
to 3X longer durability.
Dirk Hauschild is chief marketing officer at LIMO, Dortmund, Germany; e-mail:
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FIGURE 3. Welding of plastic on plastic
requires very special laser parameters: (a)
an automotive pump with two polymer parts
welded in 1 s with one laser shot (courtesy of
LIMO) and (b) an integrated LED headlight are
shown; polymer optics were laser-welded with
the main body in one shot (courtesy of Hella).