Feasibility analysis of material processing with laser beams in advance of and in addition to experimental investigations
The laser is a powerful beam tool and has already found a large number of industrial macro- and micro-scaled applications. Its use is particularly beneficial if highly concentrated power intensities in space (continuous wave regime) and/or time (pulsed wave regime) are required for a particular task. Even large areas can currently be efficiently treated by laser beams using appropriate scanning systems or new beam shaping techniques. Exciting other application fields can be opened up if new materials or material classes are introduced, if conventional heat sources are replaced by more efficient ones or if new manufacturing techniques are required. Despite possibly higher investment costs the use of a laser source might cause an early return of invest if the process is efficiently designed and operating costs are reduced, particularly under conditions of continuous high-throughput processing.
Based on our comprehensive experience in design, modeling, analysis and simulation of laser-based manufacturing processes we are able to offer evaluations of proposed or planned laser material processing approaches even if there is currently no or only insufficient experimental data available. Primarily, the energy or power requirements will be estimated and the meeting of required constraints will be checked by developing a corresponding model of the process. As an example, Figure 1 shows the scheme of a laser-based thermal activation of a multi-layer substrate and a computed temperature field. In that case, the heating up of the material must be achieved in such a way that the average process temperature is high enough to reach the activation state of the coating layer but simultaneously the temperature maximum must not exceed a threshold value.
The computed results can be validated by use of the experimental equipment available at the IWS.