School of Engineering and Physical Sciences    Heriot-Watt University

Applied Optics and Photonics Research

Home    People    Links    Sensors    HPLA Research    Optical Diagnostics

 

High Power Laser Applications

The High Power Laser Applications group focuses on the study of laser-matter interactions and its applications. Materials (metals, coatings, glasses, ceramics) are ablated, melted, cut, drilled, shaped, finely sculpted or joined for a wide range of purposes. We exploit our team’s knowledge & experience in adaptive optics, lasers physics, high-power-laser fibre delivery and material sciences:

  • to contribute to the fundamental understanding of laser precision machining of materials, and

  • to offer practical solutions to the engineering and technical challenges of our industrial collaborators.

 

Current and Recent Projects

Laser polishing of additively manufactured components

Wojciech Gora, Aldara Pan Cabo, Robert Maier, Duncan Hand

Heriot-Watt, supported by Renishaw, is undertaking a project to explore the application of high power lasers to selective polishing of Additively Manufactured (AM) components made using a metal powder process. This project is a part of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Laser-based Production Processes.

 

Laser micro-sculpting of holographic security markings on high-value metal components

Krystian Wlodarczyk, Marcus Ardron (Renishaw), Nick Weston (Renishaw), Duncan Hand

Development of a novel marking process based on the laser micro-sculpting approach, known as ‘YAGboss’, for the generation of holographic structures directly on the surface of high-value metal components, such as aero-engine parts and medical implants. The aim of this project was to improve the time for the generation of holographic structures. This project was carried out in collaboration with Renishaw plc (UK) and SISMA S.p.A (Italy).

 

Micro-sculpting for generation holographic security markings on metal parts

Krystian Wlodarczyk, Stefanie Giet, Marcus Ardron (Renishaw), Nick Weston (Renishaw), Duncan Hand

Phase holographic structures were successfully generated on the surface of stainless steel using a novel laser marking process based on the laser micro-sculpting approach, known as ‘YAGboss’. This research was carried out in collaboration with Renishaw plc (Edinburgh)..

 

Additive layer manufacturing (ALM)

Dirk Havermann, Richard Carter, Bill MacPherson, Robert Maier, Duncan Hand

The aim of this research is to embed fibre Bragg gratings (FBG) in complex metal components. This combines the flexibility of ALM technique to create previously unattained geometries and functionalities with the real-time in-situ sensing capability of FBG. This work is supported by EPSRC and SUPA.

 

Fundamental study of precision laser machining of materials

Frank Albri, Marcus Ardron, Krystian Wlodarczyk, Stéphanie Giet, Robert Maier, Duncan Hand

We are investigating laser beam interaction with materials spanning a wide range of laser regimes (pico-second, nano-second and milli-second lasers, in IR, visible and UV). Understanding the fundamental principles involved help us single out critical factors and harness physical mechanisms in order to control, tailor and optimise reliable techniques for commercial applications. This work is supported by EPSRC and SUPA.

 

Adaptive Optics for laser precision machining

Piotr Jaworski, Krystian Wlodarczyk, Rainer Beck, Jon Parry, Stéphanie Giet, Robert Maier, Duncan Hand

We are investigating the potential of adaptive optics in laser beam shaping to control laser machining outputs and support high speed flexible processes. This work is supported by Renishaw, EPSRC and SUPA.

 

Microstructured silica fibres for surgical applications: A truly flexible scalpel

Piotr Jaworski, Artur Urich, Jon Shephard, Robert Maier, Duncan Hand, Bill MacPherson

The aim of this research programme is to explore the possibilities of fibre delivery for IR lasers using these novel HCMFs, which will be designed and developed by myself and my collaborators. To demonstrate the usefulness of these novel fibres I will carry out a feasibility study applying these fibres to laser surgery. This work is supported by SUPA and held in collaboration with the University of Bath.

 

Laser surface structuring of  fine features

Marcus Ardron, Frank Albri, Krystian Wlodarczyk, Stéphanie Giet, Duncan Hand

We are investigating the potential of nano-second laser sculpting of surfaces (metals and glasses) to produces fine reproducible features such as diffraction gratings. This work is supported by TSB, EPSRC, Renishaw and SUPA.

 

NDT Ceramics (2007 - 2011)

Mateusz Matysiak, Jon Shephard, Duncan Hand

The objectives of this project are to develop optical techniques that can identify flaws in a bulk ceramic sample which are sufficient to have a significant impact on its mechanical properties.This work is supported by Renishaw and SUPA.

 

Robot Delivery (2007 - 2011)

Stephan Kloss, Jon Shephard, Duncan Hand

Usage of robots for manufacturing applications in the automobile, printed circuit board and aerospace industry became standard practice during the last two decades. However, most of these systems are linear 6-axis or 4-axis SCARA (Selective Compliant Assembly Robot Arm) robots, comprising of a single arm with motorised joints which provide the required degrees of freedom, these systems are also known as SERIAL ROBOTS. An alternative design, the PARALLEL ROBOT, where the end effector is connected to the base via multiple kinematic chains, is being developed. This work is supported by Renishaw and SUPA.

 

Laser joining of Microsystems (2007 – 2011)

Norbert Lorenz, Robert Maier, Duncan Hand

The aim of this work is to develop robust diode laser based joining for applications in manufacture (packaging of MEMS, microwave and optoelectronics components). This work is supported by GE Aviation, QinetiQ and SUPA.

 

 

 Contact us AOP@hw.ac.uk