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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Oct 25, 2013

TWI's 5kW handheld laser gun is ideal for nuclear power plant decommissioning

UK's TWI has unveiled a 5 kW handheld laser gun that can cut through tough metal pipes like a hot knife cuts butter. All thanks to the fibre laser projector that's been configured like a machine gun to be used by any authorised person. This laser gun would be ideal for decommissioning of nuclear power plants where metallic pipes form a large portion of the contaminated material that should be removed and safely treated. The traditional laser cutting tools have been quite cumbersome to handle and difficult to operate. TWI's laser gun solves all those problems.

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Image Credit: TWI​

TWI's laser cutting torch, as they call it, generates a laser beam using IPG Photonics YLS-5000 Ytterbium 5 kW fibre laser. TWI says that they can produce lasers of about 30 kW power if required. The fibre laser produces light of about 1 micron wavelength (IR part of the spectrum), which is invisible to human eye. The performance of the laser is monitored using a laptop with a special software. The entire cutting process is assisted by a high pressure air-jet which blows away the kerf of the cut which has been melted by the laser beam. TWI says that this is an important part of the single sided tube cutting processes required to achieve proper separation of the tubes.

The demo video (below) shows cutting of stainless steel tubes of about 25-150 mm in diameter and walls of about 1.5 to 11 mm in thickness. Check out the video that shows the laser gun in action.


Via: Gizmag | Source: TWI
KenJackson
KenJackson • Oct 26, 2013
Wow!
If you could miniaturize that thing, you'd have a Romulun disruptor.
But even at full size, you wouldn't want the bad guys to get a hold of one.

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