Congratulations to EWI Laser Technology Leader Stan Ream who has been awarded a US patent for a newly developed high-power laser focusing optic.
According to Stan, “A customer initiated a project to develop a high-power laser welding solution for their thick, aerospace material. During the early stages of process development it was determined that commercially available laser focusing optics would not be suitable for the long welds (12 feet) that the project required. The commercially-procured, transmissive, focusing optics then available exhibited too much focal shift to perform consistently during the required 2-minute long weld time. Working with EWI member company II-VI Inc., we designed a totally new, high-power focusing system, using very advanced mirror designs and an aerodynamic window to protect the delicate laser fiber end. This solution (fondly called “The Beast” by EWI laser techies) performed flawlessly during the final deliverable welding stage of the project, in which eleven, 12-foot long, butt-jointed panels were successfully welded with essentially flawless X-ray quality. The now-patented ‘High-power Laser Focusing Apparatus with Pressurized Housing and Aerodynamic Window’ continues to undergo improvement, even as it is in daily use at EWI.”
Great work, Stan!