Lasers have become a common feature of everyday life from laser pointers to advanced industrial manufacturing.
The power of lasers has multiplied many times and they can now produce sufficient energy to cut and weld the hardest of materials for sophisticated fabrication.
Traditional lasers deliver a constant beam of high-power light which generates enormous amounts of difficult-to-control heat.
Exciting new opportunities are emerging for laser manufacturing using pulsed lasers. These lasers are known as ultrafast lasers.
Ultrafast lasers generate extremely short bursts of light concentrating enormous energy in a single pulse to enable much greater control with less heat.
The heart of the PULSE technology is the Tapered Fiber Amplifier. This geometry provides huge benefits for generating high power laser pulses at low production costs.
Fine control of the laser pulses is achieved using novel seed lasers. The seed laser determines the rate and length of pulses delivered to the target.
The very high power pulses generated need ultra-fast directional change. This is made possible with unique polygon scanner technology which can direct the laser beam at speeds of up to 5000 km per hour.
The PULSE project involves a consortium of outstanding industrial and academic research partners from across Europe.
The aim is to develop a complete laser system with unparalleled power and pulse control for the most challenging manufacturing tasks.
The ultrafast lasers being developed by PULSE will have…
… breakthrough power levels up to 2.5kW and 100kW in a single pulse; sufficient to cut the hardest Boron steel used in car construction.
… the control and refinement to etch moulds at unimaginable speeds and with micron scale accuracy for vehicle parts.
…the power flexibility for micro-welding of dissimilar metals.
The PULSE project will bring many benefits to the EU.
It will strengthen and modernise Europe’s industrial manufacturing by improving precision, productivity, quality and high-speed production.
This in turn will make Europe’s manufacturing more competitive and digital, resulting in more jobs and societal benefits.