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High power lasers in production engineering
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Singapore : World Scientific Publishing, 1999


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PSZ JB 30000004568964 TA1677 S38 1999 Open Access Book

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High power lasers of either the gas or solid state type can be used to generate a focal spot with a diameter of about a tenth of a millimetre and a power density of up to 100 Mio W/cm2. With these intensities all materials can be heated up rapidly, leading to fast melting, violent evaporation or even plasma formation. So laser beams can be utilized for various processing tasks, such as transformation hardening, cutting and ablation or welding and cladding or even rapid prototyping. With these processes, important advantages are achieved compared to conventional tools such as high processing speed due to the high concentration of energy and high quality of the processed workpiece without deformations due to the small overall heat input to the workpiece that corresponds to the small spot diameter. All these advantages finally result in strongly reduced production costs, which is the main reason for a world-wide substitution of conventional processes and other beam tools by laser technology.This monograph offers a great insight into the operation principles of high power laser sources, the phenomena of interaction of laser beams and materials and the mechanisms of the various production processes with lasers -- thus enabling production engineers and others to make optimum use of the benefits of laser technology and to understand the technical properties and the physical limitations of this most recent technology (especially in comparison to conventional tools and other beam tools), and providing a sufficient basis for the understanding and use of future developments in this area.