Study and development of 22 kW peak power fiber coupled short pulse Nd:YAG laser for cleaning applications

             

Study and development of 22 kW peak power fiber coupled short pulse Nd:YAG laser for cleaning applications

Abstract

Free running short pulse Nd:YAG laser of microsecond pulse duration and high peak power has a unique capability to ablate material from the surface without heat propagation into the bulk. Applications of short pulse Nd:YAG lasers include cleaning and restoration of marble, stones, and a variety of metals for conservation. A study on the development of high peak power short pulses from Nd:YAG laser along with its cleaning and conservation applications has been performed. A pulse energy of 1.25 J with 55 µs pulse duration and a maximum peak power of 22 kW has been achieved. Laser beam has an M2 value of ~28 and a pulse-to-pulse stability of ±2.5%. A lower value of M2 means a better beam quality of the laser in multimode operation. A top hat spatial profile of the laser beam was achieved at the exit end of 200 µm core diameter optical fiber, which is desirable for uniform cleaning. This laser system has been evaluated for efficient cleaning of surface contaminations on marble, zircaloy, and inconel materials for conservation with cleaning efficiency as high as 98%. Laser׳s cleaning quality and efficiency have been analysed by using a microscope, a scanning electron microscope (SEM), and X-ray photon spectroscopy (XPS) measurements.

Keywords

  • Laser cleaning;
  • Marble conservation;
  • Nd:YAG laser;
  • Ablation;
  • Fiber coupling

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