Material Processing & Surface Modification Lasers
What are Material Processing & Surface Modification Lasers?
Material Processing lasers are advanced tools that utilize the power of focused laser light (typically pulsed) to modify and transform various types of materials. Material processing lasers can perform tasks such as cutting, engraving, drilling, marking, micromachining, and non-thermal ablation with precision and efficiency. The versatility and high degree of control offered by these lasers make them indispensable tools for achieving intricate and complex material alterations, contributing to advancements in technology and enhancing industrial processes.
Surface Modification lasers are specialized tools used to alter the properties and characteristics of various materials at the surface level, typically utilizing pulsed lasers. These lasers utilize precise energy deposition to induce physical or chemical changes in the targeted material, resulting in desired modifications. There are several techniques employed in surface modification and treatment, each with its own laser system and methodology. Some common examples include texturing, peening, and marking applications.
Material Processing & Surface Modification Laser Applications
Cutting/Drilling Lasers: Laser cutting and drilling is a process in which q-switched lasers (typically high power, ns pulsed) are used to thermally ablate material to form holes and cuts in various materials, including metals, polymers, ceramics, and more. In both laser cutting and drilling the primary objective is to remove material, and as such, the vaporized material must be allowed to outgas, so that is don’t interfere with the process allowing for precise cuts.
Micromachining Lasers: Laser micromachining is a collection of processes involving sub-millimeter machining of small parts or features on a material using precise and controlled techniques. This subtractive (material removal) process typically involves using specialized micromachining lasers (typically ps or fs pulsed, UV green & IR) to cut, drill, ablate, or otherwise shape materials with accuracy and precision.
Non-Thermal Ablation Lasers: Non-thermal ablation, often performed using ultrafast lasers, is an advanced method employed to remove material with exceptional precision and minimal heat-induced damage. This technique relies on ultra-short laser pulses (typically ps or fs pulsed) which deliver an intense burst of energy in a fraction of a second, removing material through non-thermal or cold ablation.
Thin Film Removal Lasers: Laser thin film removal is the process of selectively ablating a very thin layer of material from a substrate, and is widely used on silicon, glass, ceramics, plastics, and metals. These lasers are generally short-pulsed (typically fs, ps or even ns pulsed UV green & IR, high quality TEM00 beam) with the ability to operate at high repetition rates to allow for sufficient pulse overlap at high processing speeds without damaging the substrate.
Marking Lasers: Laser marking is a process of creating permanent marks or patterns on a material’s surface using laser technology. Unlike traditional marking methods like ink printing or engraving, laser marking offers advantages such as high precision, durability, non-contact processing, and the ability to mark a wide range of materials. Laser marking lasers are specifically designed lasers used for the marking process (typically ns or ps pulsed q-switched).
Texturing Lasers: Laser texturing involves engraving the negative image of an intricate design into a mold to produce an end product with a raised decorative patterned surface, allowing molded parts to mimic the look of leather, wood, and other materials. Laser engraving (typically ns or ps pulsed with high quality TEM00 beam) the interior of the mold instead of chemically etching it eliminates the need for hazardous, corrosive chemicals and allows for a completely digitized process.
Recommended Laser Series
We recommend the following laser series for Material Processing & Surface Modification applications. There can often be a ton of options and many variables. Contact us today for help finding the perfect laser for your specific application!