High Power Lasers – Just Measure It

Laser power and the applied laser densities are constantly rising.
These high-power lasers are more likely to be used in materials processing applications such as welding, cutting, cladding, or additive manufacturing. Many of those applications are demanding: The laser’s focal spot and beam profile need to be kept within the specification to achieve the required part quality and establish a reproducible process.

How can laser parameters of beams in the range of multi kilowatts and with power densities reaching more than 10 MW/cm2 be measured with existing camera technology without damaging the camera or the optics?

Unprecedent attenuation

Laser power attenuation via beam splitting is a common practice to reduce the laser power and enable the measurement of a beam. For a long time it has not been possible to attenuate a beam with powers above the kilowatt range.

Enter the Ophir LBS-300HP-NIR beam splitter, which can be used with laser power densities of up to 15MW/cm2 at 5kW.

The key advantage of this innovative device is the uniform attenuation of any beam shape (Gaussian, flat-top, doughnut, etc.) while fully preserving the polarization and overall profile of the incoming laser beam. Beam shape, focal spot, beam waist, and overall power of the NIR laser beam up to 5kW can thus be reliably measured.

Fig. 1. LBS-300HP-NIR with SP932u Beam Profiler

As with every innovative technology, users need additional assurance
that the promised results can really be achieved. The key points of
interest with a device that attenuates the beam are:
– Can the attenuator itself be damaged by the beam?
– Will a temperature increase of the device influence the measurements?
– Does the device deliver reliable results for CW and pulsed lasers?

In order to provide proven results by a third-party institute, the
well-known German research institute Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH)
conducted a series of tests with high power industrial lasers (click here to get the full report).
In the extensive testing performed at the LZH, the innovative technology
introduced with the Ophir LBS-300HP-NIR beam splitter proved to withstand high power densities as well as high energy without interfering with the beam or changing measurement results.
In addition to the non-contact measurement of high-power laser beams,
engineers now have another valuable tool at hand to analyze high power laser beams.

Read full article and report to learn about the valuable tool enginners now have at hand to analyze high power laser beams.

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