Argonne National Laboratory Nuclear Engineering Division

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Laser Applications Laboratory

The Laser Applications Laboratory (LAL) houses two high-power laser systems, complete with diagnostics for materials-processing functions – a 6 kW CO2 laser and a 1.6 kW pulsed Nd:YAG laser.

The 6kW CO2 laser

Figure 1. The 6kW CO2 laser. Click on image to view larger image.

The Laser Applications Laboratory (LAL) in Argonne's Nuclear Engineering Division carries out research and development on laser-based applications for materials processing and aerosol or spray characterization. Collaborative research and development activities with industrial partners are a key activity. The LAL's integrated approach maximizes the synergy between laser/beam-delivery manufacturers and developers/users of the technology.

Argonne's Nd:YAG laser in action -Laser Well Drilling

Figure 2. Argonne's Nd:YAG laser in action -Laser Well Drilling. Click on image to view larger image.

The LAL facility houses two high-power industrial laser systems, complete with diagnostics for materials-processing functions: a 6 kW CO2 laser and a 1.6 kW pulsed Nd:YAG laser. The equipment was provided by a $1.7 million grant from the State of Illinois for Argonne and its industrial partners to develop advanced materials-processing methods. Capabilities include cladding, cutting, drilling, surface modification (heat treating, glazing, surface alloying), welding, process monitoring, and laser thermal simulation studies. The general goal of the laser processing effort is to optimize laser processing parameters for materials-processing functions on the factory floor. More specialized goals include development and optimization of industrially robust beam-delivery systems for specific processing needs.

Several low-power lasers--including visible to near-infrared diode lasers, nitrogen and dye lasers, and helium-neon lasers--are used for diagnostics, characterization (and control) of aerosols and sprays relevant to environmental control and fuel injection optimization.

Projects with industrial partners:

The Argonne on-line Weld Monitor

Figure 3. The Argonne on-line Weld Monitor. Click on image to view larger image.

LAL projects are structured to be synergistic and complementary. Improvements in laser beam delivery, power measurement, and sensors for on-line process monitoring will positively affect the viability and cost-effectiveness of high-power laser processing technology that is currently used in automotive and other manufacturing sectors. The ongoing LAL projects with industrial partners are:

Other projects:

In addition to its collaborative activities, LAL carries out internal research and development on high power laser processing:

Last Modified: Thu, October 10, 2013 3:58 PM



Fact Sheet

For more information:

Technology Initiatives Section
Sect. Manager: Claude B. Reed
Fax: +1 630-252-3344

Argonne Experts Argonne Experts: C. Reed


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