A Queen’s University physicist and a PhD student have created an innovative device to control the depth of a laser cut, enabling pinpoint accuracy during surgeries and avoiding complications that can occur when cuts are made too deep.
“The issue of depth control has always been a problem in laser surgery,” said professor James Fraser. “There are many surgical procedures where we would like to use lasers but we can’t because they are too difficult to control. Our technology may enable new laser surgeries that weren’t possible before.”
This achievement is leading Dr. Fraser and doctoral student Paul Webster to also explore industrial applications for their control technology and are constructing an advanced laser processing station which will lead to a wide variety of opportunities.
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“In addition to the surgical application, depth control can significantly improve laser welding,” said Paul Webster. “Improvements to our advanced manufacturing capabilities ultimately lead to cheaper and more fuel efficient aircraft, cars and ships.”
A laser utilizing their new direct sensor could be used to inspect parts as they are welded, which would not only increase efficiency but also decrease waste and improve safety.
When the new laser processing station has been completed, tests will begin with members of Ontario’s automotive manufacturing industry.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons