New speed record in laser cleaning

IPG Laser GmbH is a manufacturer of cleaning lasers. These have an enormously high pulse power of greater than one megawatt and a square process spot. Often they are guided by hand. On the initiative of MOEWE, IPG has now for the first time realized such a laser with a power of 6 / 3 kW and tailored it to the requirements of a fast polygon scanner. In particular, a special burst regime allows the entire laser beam power of 3 kW to be used in the process, which is otherwise not possible. With the PM 100, MOEWE is the only company worldwide to offer a polygon scanner for such a high laser power. SITA Messtechnik GmbH can demonstrate the cleaning effect with its measuring device.
The tests took place at the Laserinstitut Hochschule Mittweida. The staff of the institute published a nice video about the process:


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With the new combination of special laser and polygon scanner, a surface the size of a DIN A4 sheet can be cleaned in the unimaginably short time of only 0.2 seconds at an applied intensity of 23 MW/cm2 , with which a thin film of oil can be removed. In one hour, this configuration manages to clean an area of 1,200 m2. This high efficiency means that such processes can soon be used on a large industrial scale. This is relevant, for example, for battery or fuel cell production.
In the video, the precision of the processing can also be seen. A checkerboard pattern, which may offer technological advantages (energy distribution), could be created precisely. The counterpart then just as precisely. These two processes run together in the same time as full-surface machining, since the polygon scanner has sufficient speed reserves to be able to realize twice the speed and line frequency. To realize the synchronism of polygon mirror rotation and laser frequency without beat effects is not trivial. Special control capabilities on the polygon scanner and laser source made it possible to realize the high precision.
The unique combination of polygon scanner PM 100 and 6 / 3 kW high power cleaning laser with burst function from IPG allows to advance into completely new speed dimensions in surface cleaning.

Text: Robby Ebert