Thanks to the work carried out in its laboratories, Alphanov, an optical and laser technical centre, is now able to polish parts made additively on a large scale in almost all types of materials.
In recent years, the development of laser additive manufacturing has led to changes in the use of laser micro-machining processes. Indeed, laser polishing is now a process increasingly used by industrialists. This process has many advantages: no material removal, no scratching, a reduction in the processing time of parts and the ability to treat hard-to-reach areas.
Despite the many advantages of laser polishing, Alphanov's team has tried to further reduce processing time on large surfaces or parts.
The surface treatment time by laser polishing can be improved with the following:
- a high power continuous laser
- a large spot diameter
These first two elements allow a larger area to be covered by maintaining a power density allowing controlled melting of the surface, which greatly reduces polishing times.
- a synchronized robotic arm and scanner
The robotic arm combined with the movements of the scanner's mirrors overcomes the limited processing area of current laser polishing systems. The robotic arm processes larger but also heavier parts or surfaces, greater than 100 kg.
Alphanov's team took these elements into account and used an IPG 10 kW, 1070 nm YLR 10000 continuous laser, as well as a Scanlab IntelliWeld FT galvanometric scanner mounted on a Fanuc robotic arm. The robot's movements and scanner mirrors work in sync with BlackBird's Scanner Control Unit. With this new combination, Alphanov has been able to improve the processing time by laser polishing. Indeed, large areas have been treated continuously without the need to use a sewing method (stitching).
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