In the world of materials science and production, innovation is key to unlocking new possibilities and addressing existing challenges. Associate Professor Morten Kristiansen, a distinguished researcher from the Department of Materials and Production at Aalborg University, is at the forefront of this pursuit. Earlier this year, he made a groundbreaking acquisition for his laboratory – a Dynamic Beam Laser.
Assoc. Prof. Kristiansen's research journey has been anchored in the history of using beam shapes for welding, cutting, and fabrication. His extensive experience in this domain has prepared him to fully grasp the immense potential of beam shaping in these applications. However, in the past, the possibilities of beam shaping were hampered by two major constraints: time and cost.
Traditionally, creating a new beam shape required the design of Diffraction Optical Element, each of which was expensive and time-consuming to produce. Researchers like Assoc. Prof. Kristiansen were confined by the limitations of their available beam shapes, which hindered the exploration of innovative solutions to critical problems.
The arrival of the Dynamic Beam Laser in Assoc. Prof. Kristiansen's laboratory marked a turning point. This cutting-edge technology allows researchers to design and implement new beam shapes in a matter of minutes, compared to the months it took previously. The implications for research are profound, as it drastically shortens the development time and opens up new avenues for exploration.
One area where Assoc. Prof. Kristiansen sees immense potential for implementing beam shaping is in the welding of thick sections. Welding thick sections often leads to challenges such as cracks and porosity. These issues are well-understood, and beam shaping offers a unique opportunity to control the heat profile and melt pool dynamics. For instance, one innovative idea is to create a beam shape with a leading edge that can clean the weld seam, prevent contamination, and pre-heat the welded area, mitigating common welding problems.
Another intriguing application that had been explored in the past with limited success due to constrained beam shapes is remote cutting. By using specific beam shapes, it becomes possible to generate pressure that aids in ejecting molten material during cutting operations, potentially revolutionizing this process.
Assoc. Prof. Kristiansen's laboratory is currently in the construction stages but has already yielded promising results. Initial trials have demonstrated that different beam shapes can significantly influence various parameters, including heat profiles, melt pool dynamics, and spatter formation. These findings are setting the stage for further groundbreaking research.
One of the primary objectives of Assoc. Prof. Kristiansen's lab is to serve as a hub for both students and industry professionals. The lab is committed to conducting research that benefits not only the academic community but also the broader industry. Its flexible setup allows for rapid adjustments to tackle various industry challenges, ensuring swift and effective research solutions.
Dynamic Beam Laser represents a significant leap forward in the world of materials research. By overcoming the historical limitations of time and cost associated with beam shaping, this technology opens up exciting possibilities in welding, cutting, and fabrication. As Assoc. Prof. Kristiansen's lab continues to pave the way for innovative solutions and welcomes students and industry partners, the future of materials science and production looks brighter than ever. With the Dynamic Beam Laser as a catalyst for change, we can anticipate groundbreaking advancements in the field and solutions to longstanding challenges.