Extending the process limits of laser polymer
welding with high-brilliance beam sources
The Polybright research project has received funding from the European Community´s 7th Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° NMP2-LA-2009-228725
The POLYBRIGHT innovation The main aim of the POLYBRIGHT project is to demonstrate that with a suitable approach and the use of high brilliance laser sources it is possible to break new paths in the processing of polymers. In order to achieve this ambitious goal the POLYBRIGHT is focused on two main research axes:
  • Development and use of new high brilliance laser sources in the higher NIR wavelength range for the welding of polymeric materials without use of any IR absorber. Expected breakthrough:

Enabling completely new process concepts for polymer welding that will eliminate any additional cost related to the current necessity to modify plastic materials in order to make them laser weldable
Enabling a radical change in product design that will revolutionise the development of new products by eliminating the restrictions concerning the colour of the materials to be joined. Also, give an additional degree of freedom to product design by bringing new perspectives and approaches for the adoption of joint configurations so far considered ineffective due to the technology limitations in material processing
Development of optical elements needed for the beam shaping and manipulation, almost completely missing today, with new standards established for this emergent sector within the optical elements and systems

  • Development of new processes and machinery (laser based systems and peripheral equipment) based on the use of high brilliance laser sources within the commonly used wavelength range 800-1100 nm. Expected breakthrough:

Reach of utmost process speeds for high productivity processing of polymers by taking advantage of the high intensity of a focused high brilliance laser beam and developing suitable irradiation strategies
Increase of the process robustness to ensure the highest manufacturing quality aiming to reach the zero failure production. Through the development of thermal management concepts higher manufacturing tolerances for the joining components could be allowed but also the overall reliability and the reproducibility of the process could be guaranteed
Development of concepts and strategies to provide the polymer welding process with an unmatched flexibility related to product changes. Fast laser system reconfiguration without need to exchange tools is one of the ways to achieve this objective
Development of cot effective solutions through the use of laser sources with higher beam quality advanced machine concepts can be developed as cost effective solutions. For example the costly Nd:YAG lasers suitable for Remote Welding processing could be replaced through the more robust and less expensive recently developed high brilliance lasers. Investigating the feasibility of this approach would eliminate the existing constrains in the processing of large polymeric products enabling a new series of applications where today energy intensive processes are used
Development of new machine concepts with daring solutions for the clamping of large polymeric components such as elastomeric clamping or fluid clamping chambers are addressed in order to overcome the current difficulties in the processing of such products. The clamping seems to be of even higher importance in the processing of large polymeric parts than the welding process itself.

last update 2011-09-14 © POLYBRIGHT 2009