How Lasers will Help You Get Better Gas Mileage
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

We all want our cars to be safer, which often results in making them heavier. But we also want them to get better gas mileage, which is tricky when they’re also getting heavier. While there are plenty of lightweight materials car makers can use, there is some difficulty in combining the materials safely with enough strength integrity. Enter lasers.

 

Most metals won’t bond unless coaxed with a lot of energy and expense. But researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a laser-powered solution that bonds aluminum and carbon fiber, an ideal, lightweight pairing.

 

Soldering and welding require clean surfaces. Which presents the traditional hurdle in bonding aluminum and carbon fiber: the surfaces of both components are impure and require large amounts of manual labor, grit blasting and toxic solvents to prepare them.

 

The scientists at ORNL have designed a way to peel off the top layer of material from the metal and the composite—a faster, cleaner, and less expensive way to prepare the surfaces for bonding. Even better, when the laser-cleaned materials were bonded and tested they proved to be 15% stronger and were able to absorb 200% more energy than the same materials bonded in the traditional fashion.

This process has only been accomplished in a laboratory setting, so it will need to be tested on a production line before the results can truly be evaluate. But we’re betting that in the very near future, lasers will be responsible for safer cars that achieve better gas mileage.

 





 
 
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    • 10/06/2014 - A World Record-Breaking Laser
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    • 08/12/2014 - The 411 on LEDs
    • 07/08/2014 - Invention of the Laser
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Greenlight Optics is an optical systems engineering and manufacturing company specializing in projection displays, LED and laser illumination, imaging systems, plastic optics, and the integration of optics with electrical and mechanical systems.

The Greenlight Optics team brings a combined 250+ years of experience designing, developing, and manufacturing optical systems for consumer and professional markets.

We are passionate about enabling new optical applications and providing outstanding service to our customers.
 
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July 2017: Greenlight Optics completes ISO 9001:2015 certification. Greenlight Optics has been ISO 9001 certified since 2014.

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