FIGURE 3.1 Laser and material interaction during welding. High-power carbon dioxide lasers provide a unique thermal energy source for processing materials. This energy source is precisely controllable in intensity and position. Laser beam welding is currently being used to fabricate components for naval structures and platforms, and its use is expanding rapidly. (Courtesy Naval Research Laboratory.)

international market, the steel, lead, and zinc industries need new processes to utilize fully their ore reserves in North America. The lead and zinc industries also need processing technology specifically related to the characteristics of their ore deposits. A significant opportunity exists to fully exploit the value of silver and other minor constituents in minerals.

Secondary processing operations such as rolling and shaping need attention throughout the metals industry. Process simulation modeling, sensing, and control improvements are needed to upgrade quality and reduce costs. New opportunities now exist in these areas as a result of developments in related technological fields.

Cooperative activities involving both users and producers are the most effective way of developing metal products. Product improvements will play an important role in maintaining market share in the competition of metals with ceramics, polymers, and composite materials. There is an excellent opportunity for innovative product research that will enable accurate predic-



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