Controlling a dynamic beam laser with galvo scanner enables on-the-fly beam shape orientation changes, delivering new welding and liquid powder bed fusion capabilities.
Civan Lasers and Smart Move GmbH (Garching, Germany) have partnered to provide customers with new welding and liquid powder bed fusion (LPBF) additive manufacturing solutions. By controlling Civan’s dynamic beam laser (DBL) with Smart Move’s ultramodern laser scan head, welding and LPBF customers can now change beam shape orientation on-the-fly, enabling the use of non-symmetrical beam shapes in complex geometries and making previously impossible applications a reality.
This laser welding system from BBW Lasertechnik includes the Smart Move galvo scanner with Civan’s dynamic beam laser.
Civan’s patented coherent beam combination modulates beam shape as desired at speeds of up to hundreds of megahertz, without any moving parts. This entirely new category of lasers uses optical phased array coherent beam combining to merge many single-mode laser beams into a larger beam. Each laser’s light overlaps with other beams in the far field, creating a diffraction pattern that makes it possible to manipulate the beam shape in real time. Phase modulators control the individual beams, and the resulting interference pattern can be adjusted to maximize the beam spot position and produce various shape patterns inscribed by the beam's motion.
“The integration of our dynamic beam laser with state-of-the-art scanner technology allows welding and LPBF customers to change beam shape orientation on-the-fly, enabling the use of non-symmetrical beam shapes in complex geometries to improve existing applications and make new ones possible.”
In addition to beam shape, Civan’s dynamic beam lasers also enable control of shape frequency, shape sequence, and depth of focus. Control of these parameters supplies a powerful tool for optimization of evaporation in the capillary, the flow in the molten pool, and the solidification of the melt for any laser materials processing application. Such control does away with pore, spatter, and crack formation, while increasing feed rates and speeds in welding and additive manufacturing applications.
"Smart Move makes the fastest and most accurate scanning solutions available," says Civan CEO Dr. Eyal Shekel. “The integration of our dynamic beam laser with state-of-the-art scanner technology allows welding and LPBF customers to change beam shape orientation on-the-fly, enabling the use of non-symmetrical beam shapes in complex geometries to improve existing applications and make new ones possible.”
Civan and Smart Move have completed development of a scanner for LPBF, which was delivered to a large LPBF systems manufacture. Another scanner has been delivered BBW Lasertechnik and will be integrated in a welding system. In addition, Civan and Smart Move are collaborating on a project with Fraunhofer ILT to develop a process for welding bipolar plates used in fuel cells.
Civan and Smart Move have developed a scanner that controls Civan’s dynamic beam laser,
enabling on-the-fly beam shape orientation changes.
Each fuel cell has 300 to 400 bipolar plates, just hundreds of microns thick, with a weld seam of 3 to 6 meters. Efforts to increase welding speed to more than 0.5 m/sec to keep up with demand, have resulted in welding defects. The three organizations driving this program, dubbed the Eureka Project, aim to use a galvo scanner and advanced real-time process monitoring to control beam wobble at MHz frequencies to increase welding speed and accuracy for bipolar plates.
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