Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 971713

Proposal Number: 20.09-9191

Project Title: Laser welding, bonding and joining using diffractive optical elements

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

NASA has expressed a need for innovative technologies for bonding and joining of materials to improve the performance and affordability of future aerospace systems. Methods of forming strong bonds between different aluminum alloys, as well as between dissimilar refractory metals and ceramics, are of key interest. Laser welding techniques are commonly used to join similar materials, such as steel to steel in the automotive industry. However, when dissimilar materials are used, different thermal sheer stresses are introduced at the material junction. These stresses introduce cracking and flaws in the weld and result in inferior joints if standard laser welding techniques are used. The proposed approach makes use of diffractive beam shaping optics to provide different laser intensity distributions on either side of the joint to eliminate these stresses, resulting in stronger bonds between the materials. Beam shaping optics can be used to join metals with ceramic materials using different bonding principles. This Phase I effort will demonstrate the application of beam shaping optics to the welding and joining of dissimilar materials. Both experimental and analytical studies will be used to verify the objectives of the proposed project.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

This work will provide benefits to a broad range of manufacturing industries. The automotive and avionics industries in particular can make use of the ability to join metals with ceramics and other dissimilar materials to increase the performance and to reduce the weight and cost of their finished product. Similar applications and benefits can be envisioned for uses of lasers in the medical, information processing, and consumer microelectronics industries.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Dr. Thomas Suleski

Digital Optics Corporation

5900 Northwoods Business Pkwy, Suite J

Charlotte , NC 28269

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Dr. Eric Johnson

Digital Optics Corporation

5900 Northwoods Business Pkwy, Suite J

Charlotte , NC 28269