Laserline – Diode Laser – News
Diode lasers for laser-assisted Tape Laying of carbon fiber reinforced plastics
Tube from CFRP produced by diode laser assisted winding
Laserline’s diode lasers are revolutionizing the tape placement and winding technology of fiber-reinforced plastics. Local heating and accurate temperature control replace large autoclaves and enable one-step processing of thermoplastics. Advanced fiber placement technology with diode lasers is used by the major airplane manufacturers for fuselage and panel construction.
Tape placement and winding technology using the example of the company AFPT GmbH
Laserline GmbH has tackled the task to develop an efficient process for tape laying with the power of a diode laser. Increasingly, items such as aircraft parts, pressure vessels, seals, and pipes that have traditionally been made of steel or aluminum are being replaced by ones made out of carbon fiber reinforced plastics based on plastomers (CFRP). The use of CFRP improves the mechanical properties of the product and can create a weight savings of up to 70 percent. Laserline’s customer – AFPT GmbH – manufactures CFRPs from tape colled or layered in a mold. In a temporally and spatially controlled process, the diode laser efficiently heats and melts the tape material in the joint area.
AFPT tape placement head in usage
AFPT GmbH built a tape placement head mounted on a robot to place CFRP tape on the 3D preform. Working in close cooperation with the customer, Laserline developed special homogenizing optics to heat the CFRP strips as they are placed. These optics produce a rectangular laser focus with a very uniform energy distribution. A coaxial multi-point temperature control regulates the laser power to ensure a safe heating of the material and keeps it below the decomposition temperature.
Basics of the laser assisted tape winding technology
Since 2009, diode lasers have been used in the production of CFRP components. Special homogenizing optics, 3 kW of laser power, and a high process efficiency result in tape layering speeds of several meters per minute. The small footprint of Laserline’s fiber-coupled diode laser module LDM 3000-100, coupled with its high efficiency, allowed the customer to build a robust, compact, class-1 welding cell, suitable for transport on roads.