Product Code: JLA_7_2_110

Akira Matsunawa
Welding Research Institute, Osaka University, 11‐1 Mihogaoka, Ibaraki, Osaka 567, Japan

In Japan, R&D activities on laser materials processing are mainly conducted in universities, public research institutions, and technical centers in private enterprise. Among them the Welding Research Institute and the Department of Welding and Production Engineering, both at Osaka University, have taken the initiative in conducting fundamental studies on laser materials processing as well as training experts and engineers in laser technology since the mid 1960s. In 1990, a new laser center called the Applied Laser Engineering Center (ALEC) was established in Nagaoka City in Niigata Prefecture by the investments of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Niigata Prefecture, City of Nagaoka, and many private companies in order to develop industrial applications of laser technologies. The Center has a wide variety of lasers covering wavelengths from infrared to ultraviolet, and many research projects are carried out under the sponsorship of the government, self‐governing bodies, and private companies. Another new laser center, the Advanced Materials Processing Institute (AMPI), was recently established in Amagasaki City, a neighboring city to Osaka, under the sponsorship of the City of Amagasaki and many private enterprises, where a 50 kW CO2 laser and a 5 kW YAG laser (fiber combining two 2 kW CW lasers and a 1 kW pulsed laser) were installed in November 1994. Major targets of the R&D are the development of laser welding and cutting of thicker materials, laser surface modification, and hybrid plasma–laser thermal spraying.

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