Abstract

A major advantage of fiber-optic beam delivery in laser materials processing is the ability to guide the laser power to the location where it is needed, leaving the laser itself remote and protected from the process. This is of special importance if the processing is to be performed in a hazardous environment. Particular problems are faced by the nuclear industry where weld repair and surface treatment work are required inside radioactive installations. By use of fiber beam delivery, only part of the delivery system and effector optics become contaminated, but the expensive laser system does not. However, in many cases the region where repair is required is not only radioactive but has only limited physical access, e.g., inside tubes or into corners, which prevents use of standard effector optics. We present a new design to deal with such constraints of a 2-mm outer diameter employing a hollow waveguide and gas shielding. This design is optically characterized and its performance assessed in welding and surface treatment applications. The potential of this compact effector optics in limited physical access situations is clearly demonstrated.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. T. Ishide, O. Matsumoto, Y. Nagura, T. Nagashima, “Optical fiber transmission of 2-kW cw YAG laser and its practical application to welding,” in High-Power Solid State Lasers and Applications, C. L. Ireland, ed., Proc. SPIE1277, 188–198 (1990).
    [CrossRef]
  2. T. R. Kugler, “Fiber delivers the goods for Nd:YAG applications,” Photonics Spectra 9, 87–92 (1996).
  3. Melles Griot Catalogue. Material Properties: Sapphire (Melles Griot, Carlsbad, Calif., 1997–1998), pp. A4.16–A4.17.
  4. E. Hecht, Optics, 2nd ed. (Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1987), pp. 92–113.
  5. T. Katsuyama, H. Matsumura, Infrared Optical Fibres (Adam Hilger, Philadelphia, Pa., 1989), pp. 170–195.
  6. M. W. Sasnett, “Propagation of multimode laser beams—the M2 factor,” in The Physics and Technology of Laser Resonators (Adam Hilger, New York, 1989), pp. 132–142.
  7. A. Kuhn, P. French, D. P. Hand, I. J. Blewett, M. Richmond, J. D. C. Jones, “Preparation of fiber optics for the delivery of high-energy, high-beam-quality Nd:YAG laser pulses,” Appl. Opt. 39, 6136–6143 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  8. Y. Matsuura, K. Hanamoto, S. Sato, M. Miyagi, “Hollow-fiber delivery of high-power pulsed Nd:YAG laser light,” Opt. Lett. 23, 1858–1860 (1998).
    [CrossRef]

2000 (1)

1998 (1)

1996 (1)

T. R. Kugler, “Fiber delivers the goods for Nd:YAG applications,” Photonics Spectra 9, 87–92 (1996).

Blewett, I. J.

French, P.

Hanamoto, K.

Hand, D. P.

Hecht, E.

E. Hecht, Optics, 2nd ed. (Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1987), pp. 92–113.

Ishide, T.

T. Ishide, O. Matsumoto, Y. Nagura, T. Nagashima, “Optical fiber transmission of 2-kW cw YAG laser and its practical application to welding,” in High-Power Solid State Lasers and Applications, C. L. Ireland, ed., Proc. SPIE1277, 188–198 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Jones, J. D. C.

Katsuyama, T.

T. Katsuyama, H. Matsumura, Infrared Optical Fibres (Adam Hilger, Philadelphia, Pa., 1989), pp. 170–195.

Kugler, T. R.

T. R. Kugler, “Fiber delivers the goods for Nd:YAG applications,” Photonics Spectra 9, 87–92 (1996).

Kuhn, A.

Matsumoto, O.

T. Ishide, O. Matsumoto, Y. Nagura, T. Nagashima, “Optical fiber transmission of 2-kW cw YAG laser and its practical application to welding,” in High-Power Solid State Lasers and Applications, C. L. Ireland, ed., Proc. SPIE1277, 188–198 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Matsumura, H.

T. Katsuyama, H. Matsumura, Infrared Optical Fibres (Adam Hilger, Philadelphia, Pa., 1989), pp. 170–195.

Matsuura, Y.

Miyagi, M.

Nagashima, T.

T. Ishide, O. Matsumoto, Y. Nagura, T. Nagashima, “Optical fiber transmission of 2-kW cw YAG laser and its practical application to welding,” in High-Power Solid State Lasers and Applications, C. L. Ireland, ed., Proc. SPIE1277, 188–198 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Nagura, Y.

T. Ishide, O. Matsumoto, Y. Nagura, T. Nagashima, “Optical fiber transmission of 2-kW cw YAG laser and its practical application to welding,” in High-Power Solid State Lasers and Applications, C. L. Ireland, ed., Proc. SPIE1277, 188–198 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Richmond, M.

Sasnett, M. W.

M. W. Sasnett, “Propagation of multimode laser beams—the M2 factor,” in The Physics and Technology of Laser Resonators (Adam Hilger, New York, 1989), pp. 132–142.

Sato, S.

Appl. Opt. (1)

Opt. Lett. (1)

Photonics Spectra (1)

T. R. Kugler, “Fiber delivers the goods for Nd:YAG applications,” Photonics Spectra 9, 87–92 (1996).

Other (5)

Melles Griot Catalogue. Material Properties: Sapphire (Melles Griot, Carlsbad, Calif., 1997–1998), pp. A4.16–A4.17.

E. Hecht, Optics, 2nd ed. (Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1987), pp. 92–113.

T. Katsuyama, H. Matsumura, Infrared Optical Fibres (Adam Hilger, Philadelphia, Pa., 1989), pp. 170–195.

M. W. Sasnett, “Propagation of multimode laser beams—the M2 factor,” in The Physics and Technology of Laser Resonators (Adam Hilger, New York, 1989), pp. 132–142.

T. Ishide, O. Matsumoto, Y. Nagura, T. Nagashima, “Optical fiber transmission of 2-kW cw YAG laser and its practical application to welding,” in High-Power Solid State Lasers and Applications, C. L. Ireland, ed., Proc. SPIE1277, 188–198 (1990).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (8)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Design of different types of effector optics: (a) conventional effector and (b) hollow compact. od, outside diameter.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Transmission efficiency for a 1.07-mm inner-diameter, 1.52-mm outer-diameter sapphire tube as an optical waveguide.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Relative divergence for a sapphire tube waveguide with a 1.07-mm inner diameter and a 1.52-mm outer diameter.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Intensity distribution for different hollow waveguides 10 mm from the tube end for a fiber output M 2 of 117.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Spot welding of two 0.2-mm-thick stainless-steel sheets with 27-J, 8-ms laser pulses for a 2-s irradiation time.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Surface treatment of a 0.8-mm-thick mild steel plate with the sapphire tube effector optics and 125-W average power.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Surface treatment of a 5-mm-thick mild steel plate with the sapphire tube effector optics and 236-W laser power.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Top view and cross section of a bead on the plate weld on 1.0-mm-thick stainless-steel sheets with 1.7- and 2-kW cw laser irradiation. The sapphire tube was broken for last section of the 2-kW weld.

Tables (2)

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Table 1 Transmission Efficiency of Different Hollow Waveguides for an Approximate 55-mm Fiber Recess

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Table 2 Damage Characteristics of Different Types of Hollow Waveguide

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