Abstract

Schlieren interferometry is found to be an alternative tool for temperature measurement during thermoplastic laser welding with regard to methods based on thermocouples or optical pyrometers. In fact, these techniques are not easily applied when materials to be processed have reduced thickness, negligible heat conduction, and low emissivity, as is the case of welding high-density polyethylene films with 10.6-μm CO2 laser radiation, even if the method reaches its applicability limit after approximately 1 s of the interaction process. The schlieren method provides the means and the results to probe the thermal variations of the laser-thermoplastic interaction on both the surface and the interface between the sample material and the air.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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