High power laser material processing

High power lasers are increasingly being used for materials processing. There are two main categories of high power lasers used for this application; 1µm lasers, and CO2 lasers.

High power 1µm laser materials processing

1µm lasers are lasers that operate at the 1µm wavelength. These lasers can be used for a wide range of different processes; welding, cutting, localized heating, and more. They provide a high amount of power and extreme accuracy.

In order to get the best results from a 1µm laser, the laser system must be built using high quality, specialized optical components, designed to work effectively at high laser power and power density levels. These optics must have minimal absorption and reflection losses, to avoid impairing the performance of the laser system, or damaging it, through increased temperature.

Using decades of experience, advanced manufacturing techniques, and cutting-edge optical coating technologies, Ophir's line of 1 μm laser optics for high power fiber and solid-state lasers meet these requirements.

Ophir's products for 1µm lasers include protective windows, spherical and aspherical lenses, lens assemblies for collimating and focusing laser beams, as well as zoom lenses for laser cutting heads. Optical lenses for 1µm lasers are made from fused silica, with specialized AR coatings that have the lowest possible absorption and reflection losses, to ensure the best high power laser performance.

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High power CO2 laser materials processing

CO2 lasers have been used for many applications over the years and are being manufactured with increasingly higher power levels to support materials processing applications, such as lithography and cutting sheet metal.

The ability to create higher power CO2 lasers has been dependent on the development of advanced, high quality optical components. Ophir manufactures focusing lenses and mirrors designed to fill this need.

One critical aspect of CO2 laser optical components is the lens coatings used. The coatings must be able to protect the lens, providing low absorbency, high performance, and a long lifetime. For HeNE lasers, the coating must be transparent, yet still have low absorbency. Radioactivity is also a concern, with many choosing radioactive-free coatings for environmental reasons.

Ophir provides a range of lens types for CO2 lasers, each with slightly different benefits in terms of absorption, transparency, lack of radioactivity, and product lifetime.

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