CIM-Laser is pleased to announce the publication of it's second annual report. The Report provides an overview of the research, innovation and outreach happening in the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Laser-based Production Processes. In this report we are proud to highlight activities and achievements from the first two years of operation, and outline our plans for future years.
To date we have co-funded, with our industrial collaborators, a total of 21 projects, led by 13 different Principal Investigators across the 5 universities. Seeking to implement our strategy of combining laser material interaction fundamentals with advanced materials science to underpin the development and optimisation of laser-based manufacturing processes, we have initiated projects across a wide range of laser interaction timescales (from picosecond pulsed to continuous lasers) that seek to characterise basic laser-material interactions at a fundamental level, whilst solving specific manufacturing challenges.
A key aim is to enable robust transfer of optimised process conditions between different machines, a capability that is essential for implementing highly-automated, reliable, high yield component manufacture.
Key research highlights this year include the development of a miniaturised GHz frame rate holographic imaging system and testing of this with ultra-short pulsed laser processes including the welding of glass to metal; the manufacture of well-controlled high friction surfaces onto marine engine components; the development of a phenomenological model for laser powder bed processes, essential to understand and compensate machine-to-machine variability with powder bed additive manufacturing; and the demonstration of improved strength dissimilar welding (steel to aluminium) by pre-processing with a pulsed laser.