The laser penetration welding process developed by the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) enables the secure joining of thermoplastic, fiber-reinforced materials, such as carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP). Laser processing offers many advantages compared to conventional technologies: The laser enables a highly precise and reproducible processing. This being contactless, there is no material-caused tool wear, and even complex and sensitive structures can be processed and generated with the laser. The LZH develops laser processes for cutting, perforating, welding and ablation of two- and three-dimensional CFRP structures. The strength of the joint is higher than that of glued parts.
Furthermore, the LZH investigates laser-based processes for the repair of CFRP parts. The damaged area is ablated layer by layer with the laser; the result is a staircase structure. Afterwards, standardized replacement parts can be glued into the stairs. This process is much more precise than mechanical ablation processes, and the costly CFRP parts can be used longer.