TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 710/2000
C C Otter, N R Stockham, P A Hilton and I A Jones
The use of lasers in manufacturing is well established. Industries such as automotive, consumer white goods and aerospace have used the unique qualities of lasers to improve production efficiency and develop products using materials not possible with traditional joining techniques.
Although development of high power CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers continues, more work is going into the development of low power lasers for miniature/micro component manufacture and assembly. Lasers such as excimer, sealed beam CO2, and frequency multiplied Nd:YAG, are among those commonly used at present for micromachining applications. New short pulse, high peak energy, lasers are being developed which will not only widen the range of applications possible but reduce the cost of equipment.
This review has examined an extensive range of laser types designed for joining and machining applications. The information gathered and studied is intended as a source of reference for new entrants into the technology, and as an insight into future opportunities for TWI and its Members.
- To review current and potential laser types and laser beam manipulation methods suitable for precision microcomponent manufacture.
- To understand how laser beams interact with materials, and the resulting materials processing characteristics.
- To identify future trends that may impact on the use of lasers in the field of microtechnology.
- To identify laser types with significant potential to meet the future needs in precision microcomponent manufacture.