Hamamatsu Photonics developed laser thermal processing equipment for laser quenching that combines a direct diode laser (DDL). It is newly designed and developed based on Hamamatsu's unique laser diode (LD) technology, with a 6-axis robotic arm capable of operating with a high degree of freedom. This equipment irradiates a laser beam with an output power of 2.5 kilowatts (kW) ideal for surface quenching onto steel materials of various shapes and sizes. It also offers a low running cost, which will lead to wider use of laser quenching. The heating temperature can be precisely adjusted by setting the laser irradiation time per shot to any desired time from continuous to pulsed irradiation(*1) with a minimum pulse width of 4 milliseconds therefore enabling the use of laser quenching on materials that are less resistant to heat.
This equipment was designed and developed via a project called “Development of Advanced Laser Processing with Intelligence Based on High-Brightness and High-Efficiency Next-Generation Laser Technologies” supported by NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization), a major national research and development agency in Japan.
*1. Pulsed irradiation: Laser pulses are repeatedly emitted at very short time intervals. Lasers are broadly divided into pulsed lasers and CW (continuous wave) lasers that continuously emit laser light at a constant intensity.