Project Aim

What is kW-Flexiburst?

The aim of kW-flexiburst is to develop a high-power Ultra-short Pulse (USP) laser generating bursts that can be arbitrarily adjusted in terms of burst repetition rate, intra-burst repetition rate, number of pulses per burst, relative intensities in the burst while maintaining 1 kW average power. This will be enabled by a radically new concept of seed oscillator, which offers the opportunity to work at GHz repetition rates.

This high power USP laser will be adaptable to efficiently process any material (metals, dielectrics, semiconductors) using a variety of laser parameters that can be continuously tuned from a few high energy pulses to a large number of pulses in a high repetition rate burst. 

The flexible laser performance will be demonstrated in relevant industrial applications, which require high throughput/ high quality laser processing methods and therefore will benefit significantly from the high mean power and the tunable pulses provided by the kW-flexiburst system.

The selected applications span a wide range of industrial fields from micro-structuring of metals, ceramics and other dielectrics, drilling of hard substrates and cutting of transparent materials. Each of them carries the potential for significant or even disruptive improvements of the related industrial production process by employing the kW-flexiburst laser technology in combination with the beam delivery concepts and process methods proposed by the project.

 

 

Why is this important?

The next generation of laser technologies for material processing machines need to deliver higher precision, throughput and, most important, an extreme flexibility. Current ultrafast laser technology has demonstrated applicability for enabling high precision micromachining, but current throughput is not efficient enough for widescale industrial manufacturing and the parameters of existing lasers are not flexible enough to consistently work in the optimal conditions necessary to minimize heat-affected zone while using all of the available laser power. The kW-flexiburst project aims to develop a breakthrough laser technology to help overcome this critical barrier, which could enable the next generation of manufacturing in a range of industrial sectors. 

How will kW-Flexiburst solve this ?

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Laser turning at GFH GmbH of carbide metal with a diameter of 1 mm  © GFH GmbH

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High throughput laser engraving at Daetwyler Graphics of a rotogravure cylinder using high power 500 W fiber laser at 100 kHz pulse repetition rate  © Daetwyler Graphics

With the help of  European funding kW-Flexiburst will develop a high-power ultra-short pulse laser capable of generating bursts that can be arbitrarily adjusted in terms of burst repetition rate, intra-burst repetition rate, number of pulses per burst and relative intensities in the burst while maintaining 1 kW average power.  This will be enabled by a radically new concept of seed oscillator, which offers the opportunity to work at GHz repetition rates. The flexible laser performance will be demonstrated in relevant industrial applications, which require high throughput/ high quality laser processing methods and therefore will benefit significantly from the high mean power and the tunable pulses provided by the kW-flexiburst system. The selected applications span a wide range of industrial fields from micro-structuring of metals, ceramics and other dielectrics, drilling of hard substrates and cutting of transparent materials. Each of them carries the potential for significant or even disruptive improvements of the related industrial production process by employing the kW-flexiburst laser technology in combination with the beam delivery concepts and process methods proposed by the project.

Project Objectives

1. Develop an Ultra-Fast USP laser unit in the kW range, emitting bursts of pulses with flexible choice of pulse and burst parameters.

2. Explore new routes for laser processing of transparent materials, including drilling and cutting through thick materials with GHz-burst pulses.​

3. Demonstrate high throughput ablation of metals for the generation of 3D surface structures on industrial scale cylindrical rollers, with high texturing speeds.​

 

4. Demonstrate GHz-burst pulse drilling in ceramic substrates with a high throughput.

 

5. Demonstrate high speed fabrication of precision holes and laser turning of micro components .

kW-Flexiburst

Ultrashort pulsed kW-class laser with unprecedented flexible GHz burst operation for high precision high-throughput industrial manufacturing

 

Grant Agreement Number - 825246

Start Date - 01/01/2019

Duration - 48 months

Call Identifier - H2020-ICT-2018

Topic - ICT

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