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To us, billionths of a second matter

No such thing as can’t be done - thanks to cold laser machining

Ultra-short pulse lasers have been continually further developed during the past few years. They offer a huge potential for micro-machining of industrial applications. Laser pulses in the picosecond and femtosecond range enable new interactions between the laser beam and the material during the course of laser machining.

Material machining with ultra-short pulse lasers differs from laser machining with nanosecond, microsecond or millisecond lasers primarily in that longer laser pulses always have a greater thermal effect on the material. When machining with ultra-short pulse lasers that is not the case. This has decisive advantages for laser applications involving special materials and tolerances in the µm range.

The short duration of the laser pulses from ultra-short pulse lasers leads to very high peak pulse powers and extremely high power densities. This ionises the material which flashes over into the plasma state. Under pressure the plasma is displaced from the surface of the material; material is ablated. This effect causes the thermal influence zone to be greatly reduced or even eliminated. Specialists refer to this as “cold machining".

It enables even more precise production of laser-machined parts in the micro range. The most delicate contours can be produced in any material, virtually free of distortion. Even very hard, exceptionally brittle, extremely heat-sensitive or transparent materials can be machined using ultra-short pulse lasers. Although the processing speed is slower than for nanosecond lasers, for components in the micro range the overwhelming advantages of this industrial laser machining are clear.