Laser technology is currently used in a wide variety of industrial processes including cutting, welding, marking, surface engineering, repair and direct parts fabrication. The range of applications covers metals, plastics, semiconductors and ceramics, on a scale from sub-micron to several metres.
TWI has been at the forefront of using lasers for materials processing since the mid-1960s, and provides world-leading support to many industries, including the power, automotive, medical, shipbuilding and aerospace sectors.
TWI has significant experience in the development and application of laser materials processes for metals and non-metals. Our activities are supported by state-of-the-art laboratories, which include the widest range of industrial laser systems and laser sources in the UK.
Our core areas of technical expertise include:
TWI has a strong track record in the development of laser processing, including:
- 1967 First gas-assisted CO2 laser cut (CO2 cutting machine sales are now > $4 billion per annum)
- 1968 800W CO2 laser developed by TWI
- 1973 Prototype 2kW fast axial flow CO2 laser built by TWI
- 1994 High-speed (9m/s) welding of plastics using CO2 lasers
- 2000 Clearweld® demonstration
- 2004 Development of Seal Segment repair procedures for Trent Engines
- 2007 Laser Surfi-Sculpt® - first demonstration
- 2010 High-quality titanium welding techniques for aerostructures
- 2014 Development of techniques for remote laser welding 6xxx Al alloys
- 2015 Development and application of laser cutting for size reduction of nuclear waste