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Glass cutting with disc lasers

Supplier: LRM Technologies
30 November, 2006

Laser Resources present a new technology for cutting glass with disc lasers (MLBATM). From H2B Photonics - the laser company for glass processing - and the laser producer ROFIN.

The MLBATM cutting technology for flat glass

The patented MLBATM - (Multiple Laser Beam Absorption) technology features volume absorption of the laser radiation in the glass, and not surface absorption as with commonly used CO2 laser radiation. The specially developed reflector system allows the laser beam to pass several times through the glass. In this way, laser energy is optimally used to cut glass with a thermally induced tension fissure in one single step.

The customer's benefit is obvious: the MLBATM technology cuts single glass plates 0.2 mm to 24 mm thick, or even multi-layer glasses (display glass, laminated glass) in one single operational step. The usual subsequent breaking is no longer necessary and the customer can benefit from shorter production times by up to 50 %. A worldwide unique technology is the selective separation of single glass plates in a glass stack, as well as cutting of contours in one single step, which opens up completely new possibilities in glass processing.

The MLBATM technology is clean and contact-free and in this way does not cause any pollution by additives (like cooling medial, cutting oil) or glass splinters. These features make the MLBA method ideal for processing sensitive glass products or deployment in sensitive production environments.

The high edge quality, free of any glass chips or micro cracks, enhances the stability of glass parts by a factor of 2! Production losses by glass breakage or mechanical damage of high-quality glass parts are reduced to a minimum.

TubocutTM: Cutting of Tubular Glass

The TubocutTM method uses YAG lasers to cut tubular glass and hollow glass efficiently and free of glass chips. The particular setting of laser beam and workpiece allows to exploit the energy efficiently and produces edges with the same high quality as with the MLBATM process. This reduces waste considerably during subsequent thermal operations and provides the customer with high processing stability.

Opening up new possibilities for applications with disc lasers

As for other applications, disc lasers are most beneficial for cutting glass. Performance stability, scalability and excellent dynamic features of the ROFIN DS series with a power range of 750 to 3000 W allow flexible and high-performance solutions for a wide range of applications.

YAG lasers allow the use of optical fibers, making the laser a very flexible tool, which can be integrated in almost any production environment. By coupling several fibers to one laser, highly efficient and individual production solutions can be realized, putting the investment for laser sources in relation to the cutting system into new perspectives.

Present developments of the MLBATM technology together with the new generation of disc lasers by ROFIN, broaden the range of applications even to borosilicate glasses achieving clearly enhanced cutting speeds.

Products for customised solutions

H2B Photonics develops individual customised cutting solutions with the MLBATM technology. The portfolio comprises the reflectors and laser cutting heads which can be individually equipped for the process and the customer's product requirements and can also easily be integrated into existing production lines.

H2B realises customised cutting solutions which are equipped with the requisite MLBATM cutting technology and can be offered as complete systems. For further requirements in process control, H2B offers integrated temperature measuring equipment and sensors providing additional options for complex cutting tasks. Specialists from H2B Photonics together with ROFIN experts install machines and process technology at the customer's site.

According to the customer's wishes, personnel can be trained and consulted at the H2B Photonics application center in Garbsen near Hanover or at the customer's site. Only high power industrial lasers by the partner company ROFIN are used for system solutions. Many years of experience and competence as well as a high performance service network worldwide guarantee reliable and stable operation at the customer's site.