A tangled array of 25-150 mm (1-6 in) stainless steel tubes demolished in 15 minutes by over 50 5 kW laser cuts, penetrating both the tubes and the mounting fixtures (Photo: TWI)
The TWI laser cutting tool is engineered to produce a very narrow focal cone, enabling the power density of the laser beam to stay high enough to cut tubing from one side (Photo: TWI)
The TWI 5 kw laser torch in operation (Photo: TWI)
To address the challenges encountered in decommissioning a nuclear facility, the UK-based firm TWI has since 2009 been developing laser tube-cutting methods for the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. It has now demonstrated a 5 kW fiber laser projector, configured rather like a rifle, that can be wielded by a single person.
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