Extending the process limits of laser polymer welding

POLYBRIGHT is an FP7 Project on Extending the Process Limits of Laser Polymer Welding with High-Brilliance Beam Sources.

Since October 2009, 18 partners from 9 countries have been working together in POLYBRIGHT with the aim of developing high power, high brilliance lasers with new wavelengths between 1500 and 1900 nm, adapted to the absorption properties of polymers.

The objective of PolyBright is to provide high speed and flexible laser manufacturing technology and expand the limits of current plastic part assembly. New laser polymer joining processes for optimized thermal management in combination with wavelength adapted polymers and additives will provide higher quality, high processing speeds up to 1 m/s and robust manufacturing processes at lower costs.

Key innovations of the PolyBright project are high brilliance mid-IR-wavelength fibre and diode lasers with powers up to 500W, high speed scanning and flexible beam manipulation systems, such as dynamic masks and multi kHz scanning heads.

The project covers the whole process chain for laser based plastic part assembly and includes laser companies, optics suppliers, material and processing specialists as well as machine suppliers. The developed machine equipment and the new laser process approaches will be validated by end users from medical, consumer goods and automotive industry. With this initial step, PolyBright will forge new paths in the processing of advanced plastic products overcoming the quality and speed limitations of conventional plastic part assembly. PolyBright will thus open new markets for laser systems with a short-term potential of several hundred laser installations per year and a much larger market share of the multi billion plastic market in the future. PolyBright will hence establish a comprehensive and sustainable development activity on new high brilliance lasers that will strengthen the EU's laser system industry.

The EC has allocated €6.6M of public funding to this project with an overall budget of €10.2M.

Further information can be found on the POLYBRIGHT website

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Polymer Processing

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