Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improvements Bring Chemical Oxygen-Iodine Laser Closer To Market

Date:
August 5, 1999
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
By enhancing the performance and lowering the operating costs of the chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL), researchers at the University of Illinois have helped to bring the device close to commercial application.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- By enhancing the performance and lowering the operating costs of the chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL), researchers at the University of Illinois have helped to bring the device close to commercial application.

"Unlike most lasers, COIL can be scaled to very high power levels, in excess of 40 kilowatts," said David Carroll, a research scientist in the department of aeronautical and astronautical engineering at the U. of I. "And because COIL's wavelength of 1.3 microns can be transmitted through fiber-optic cable with very little loss, this laser is extremely well suited for applications needing high power and remote fiber optic delivery."

One such application is the decommissioning and dismantling of old nuclear facilities, Carroll said. "Not only can COIL rapidly cut through many materials, including iron, stainless steel and concrete, but laser cutting minimizes dust and fumes, thus reducing costly waste disposal. The use of a remote fiber-delivered COIL cutting tool in contaminated areas would also lower the risks to workers."

COIL was developed at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.). To help commercialize the technology, the Air Force funded a Small Business Technology Transfer program with the U. of I. and STI Optronics in Bellevue, Wash.

As part of the program, Carroll and his U. of I. colleagues -- Wayne Solomon and Lee Sentman, both professors of aeronautical and astronautical engineering, and graduate student Darren King -- assembled a two-kilowatt COIL on the U. of I. campus. "This test bed gave us the capability to investigate new components and design techniques," Carroll said.

First demonstrated in 1977, the COIL system uses a series of chemical reactions to obtain excited atoms (or molecules) for subsequent lasing. A nozzle and buffer gas bring the primary flow to the supersonic velocities essential for operation.

"Using helium as the buffer gas, the Air Force had demonstrated a peak chemical efficiency of 27 percent," Carroll said. "But helium is relatively expensive, so one major objective of our program was to demonstrate high chemical efficiencies using less costly nitrogen as the buffer gas."

By developing an innovative nozzle design that was optimized for nitrogen, the researchers achieved a chemical efficiency of 23 percent. The redesigned nozzle also significantly reduced the amount of buffer gas required, further reducing the operating costs for a commercial COIL.

In addition to dismantling nuclear reactor facilities, COIL could be used in many other industrial applications, including shipbuilding, automotive manufacturing and heavy machinery manufacturing.

"The remote, flexible fiber-cutting tool could also be used underwater to seal small leaks in hulls without expensive dry-docking," Carroll said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Improvements Bring Chemical Oxygen-Iodine Laser Closer To Market." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990805070647.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (1999, August 5). Improvements Bring Chemical Oxygen-Iodine Laser Closer To Market. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990805070647.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Improvements Bring Chemical Oxygen-Iodine Laser Closer To Market." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990805070647.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins