THE SMALLEST SPOT SIZES FOR THE LARGEST FIELDS
The AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50 is a highly integrated pre-focusing beam deflection unit. It was developed to provide the smallest spot diameters for laser welding and cutting applications. With its large aperture, it enables the required spot diameters to be achieved even in large processing fields. This allows the laser processes to be implemented with only one deflection unit, even for large components, and without extensive movement of the workpiece or the deflection unit.
During the development of the AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50, great focus was placed on its potential fields of application in the future. With its dust-proof housing, integrated fiber adapter and collimator, and a wide range of options for coaxial inline process control, it is optimally designed for reliable use in industrial production.
These features make the AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50 ideal for cutting out electrical connection points (TABs) in the battery foil. Another application is the welding of bipolar plates for fuel cells with very thin stainless steel sheets of less than 100 μm thickness and extensive capillary structure. Here, the AS F-RD-50 works with high positional accuracy and produces fine welds with stable penetration depth without damaging the bipolar plate.
Smallest spot diameter
Large processing fields
Optimized for industrial production
Due to its large free aperture of 50 mm, the AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50 always shows its strength when it comes either to realizing the smallest spot diameters or processing large components between 300 x300 mm2 and 1200 x 1200 mm2. With its precise lightweight mirrors, it enables high dynamics and the use of beam sources with high laser power and excellent beam quality such as fiber lasers and ring-mode lasers despite the large mirror dimensions.
Precisely this combination makes the AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50 the optimal solution for your production. See for yourself:
Adjustable ring mode lasers have established themselves as an innovative solution for welding critical components with high precision and efficiency. This is because the ring-shaped welding spot enables a uniform energy distribution compared to a Gaussian beam profile. This minimizes heat-affected zones and results in better weld strength and durability. In addition, humping, which can occur at feed rates as low as 600 mm/s, is avoided or shifted to higher speed ranges, significantly increasing productivity.
Whenever laser welding processes depended on small spot diameters on the component, the ring-mode laser previously reached its limits. For example, small spot diameters between 50 – 100 micrometers are used for thin bipolar plates. These are often not achievable with a ring mode, because the combination of moderate beam quality of the ring's multi- mode fibers and the maximum beam diameters in typical deflection units prevents better focusing.
Thus, in order to use a ring mode laser for fine welds such as for bipolar plates, it requires a special beam deflection unit that allows a large beam diameter before focusing while providing sufficient dynamics for efficient production.
Gas capillaries in a fuel cell stack are close togeth- er and require high positioning accuracy during the welding process.
The AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50 was developed for exactly such applications. Its large lightweight mirrors allow a free aperture of 50 mm before focusing and the integrated collimation ensures optimal alignment of the system. This permits spot diameters of approx. 25 μm to be realized in a 300 x 300 mm2 with the single mode of a fiber laser, and with a suitable laser source, even smallest ring diameters <100 μm are possible with the AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50.
Surface and cross section of a weld seam during welding of bipolar plates.
Since laser welding often leads to harsh production environments with spatter and smoke, the housing of the AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50 was designed to be dust-proof. An integrated fiber coupling and a double protective glass with quick-change frame also ensure that the system remains dust-free and ready for use during operation and also during maintenance.
The use of lightweight mirrors specially developed for the AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50 enables highly dynamic movements despite the large aperture. This minimizes process times and even dynam- ically demanding scan strategies such as processing on-the-fly on moving components or wobble structures for optimized welding remain possible.
In summary, the AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50 makes it possible to use a ring mode laser for welding bipolar plates and other high-precision applications. In this way, the advantages of precise control of the welding process, a reduced heat-affected zone (HAZ) and minimal thermal distortion can also be used in the manufacture of fuel cells. And the resulting high-quality laser welds enable longer product life and improved performance of the fuel cells produced.
In laser welding, control over the melt pool is crucial for a high-quality result. For example, abruptly switching on the laser often leads to spattering and a poorly controllable welding result. To prevent this, power ramps can help that increase the laser power in a controlled manner and prevent the laser from piercing. Here, it is important to synchronize the control of the laser power with the movements of the mirrors, especially at higher welding speeds.
Visualization of a welding ramp in the RAYGUIDE Software.
In addition, dynamic ring mode lasers can be easily integrated via the SP ICE 3 card. Thanks to two individually controllable channels of the SP ICE 3 card, the laser power and power distribution between center and ring can be varied synchronously with the scanner movements. In this way, the melt pool can be effectively controlled by the dynamic ring mode and, as a result, higher welding speeds can be achieved with less spatter in the welding process.
In many production processes, the work preparation is a step that can take up a lot of time. In high-precision production processes, this adjustment can even take more time than the subsequent laser processing.
To simplify this part of the preparation, we have developed RAYGUIDE CLICK&TEACH. Because often it is much easier to recognize the position of the workpiece and to adapt the movement of the deflection unit to it.
Via a camera on the AXIALSCAN FIBER RD-50, images of the processing field are acquired and displayed as background in the RAYGUIDE software. The RAYSPECTOR’s dynamic focus tracking ensures a sharp image throughout the entire image field. In the RAYGUIDE software, the laser processing can then be adjusted to the real positions and dimensions. This enables precise laser processing without the need for time-consuming alignment of the component in advance. The user thus saves valuable process time
Alignment of the laser processing on the work- piece detected by camera
Enables on-axis process monitoring with high-speed cameras and other z-position sensitive sensors. It also allows parallel use of a pyrometer at the integrated achromatic process light output.
Extends the manual position correction of RAYGUIDE CLICK&TEACH with automatic feature recognition on the workpiece. This conveniently enables the automation of precise laser processes.
Technical specifications are important and often decisive. But at RAYLASE, we believe that there is more to it than pure technology that matters. For this reason, we are your partner for reliable and successful laser processes and offer more than just technical components.
Modern production systems for laser processing are usually designed specifically for one process step and are highly optimized. It is therefore important to consider the interplay with the other machine components when selecting suitable beam deflection units. At RAYLASE, we therefore always have the entire solution in mind and offer our customers assistance in putting together suitable components.
For many processes, the beam deflection unit is a decisive component. Often it determines whether the desired spot parameters and processing speeds can be implemented on the component. To identify the optimal solution here, we support our customers in selecting the right beam delivery components and sensor technology. and perform simulations of the laser processes developed by our customers. In addition, we provide support in the parameterization of the laser and deflection unit or software functionality through the experts at our Technical Competence Center TCC.
Our customers are the experts for their application - we are the experts for our beam deflection units.That's why we support our customers during the commissioning of our products - if necessary also directly on site. In this way, we at RAYLASE ensure that our system is optimally adjusted and permanently delivers what it is capable of.
Modern laser deflection units are complex systems. Therefore, it is important to have a good knowledge of their characteristics. Because only when users know how the various parameters interact the optimum process becomes possible. For this reason, we at RAYLASE put a high priority on training for our products. In addition, we also offer our customers on-site training directly on the system, if required, to enable users to operate the system independently.
Together you achieve more. At RAYLASE, we are convinced about this. That's why we place great value on cooperation in a spirit of partnership and open communication at equal level – from expert to expert. Because only when we jointly find the best solution and successful integrate it into the machine, everyone involved benefits in the end - our customers, us and also the end users.