Process monitoring

State-of-the-art: During the last decade, the industry has widely adopted laser-based processes at extraordinarily high rates. Furthermore, the advantages and possibilities offered by laser technologies in terms of automation and velocity are huge compared to traditional methods. However, due to the nature of laser-based processes, the physical mechanisms involved usually are very dependent on the process conditions. They are posed with some degree of unpredictability resulting in the obligation of using real-time monitoring and controlling systems. In the CLASCO project, the surface functionalisation process will be controlled using two monitoring and control systems. In the case of laser polishing (L-P), this process is typically monitored in an open-loop mode (no control). Process parameters such as laser beam diameter, beam speed, laser power and beam overlap are monitored. The temperature of the sample is measured through a window using a pyrometer and can provide indirect information about the surface roughness of a part. In the case of DLIP, different approaches have been implemented at a low TRL level to evaluate the quality and homogeneity of produced topographies indirectly. For example, Fast Fourier Transform (FTT) technique has been used to determine surface homogeneity and over-melting process. Also, a MWIR camera (being developed in LAMpAS project) can capture excessive accumulation of heat (resulting in the degradation of the surface pattern quality). This process has been implemented so far with ps pulses and on 2D surfaces. Diode based in-situ monitoring strategies are used in surface treatment processes such as laser cleaning and typical DLW. Still, no known literature has been reported in combination with DLIP. 

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