Product Code: ICAL06_M806

Metal Micromachining with a New High Average Power Picosecond Pulse Fiber Laser
Jukka Kongas, Corelase OY; Tampere Finland
Mathew Rekow, CTO, Ergolase Inc.; Santa Clara CA USA
Tiina Amberla, Corelase OY; Tampere Finland
Presented at ICALEO 2006

High Power CW fiber laser technology has been developing rapidly and is finding many applications in the industrial sector for metal cutting, welding, heat treatment and more. Recently high average power mode-locked fiber lasers with picosecond pulse lengths and very high repetition rates have begun to appear on the market. Unlike their CW cousins, these lasers pack their energy into pulses that are so short that there is no time for melting or heat conduction to occur. This results in ejection of ablated material directly from solid to vapor with no liquid phase in between and reduces almost to zero the amount of laser energy that is absorbed into the substrate as heat. Consequently material can be processed with near zero heat affected zone, no melt zone, and no debris contaminating areas adjacent to machining operations. In this paper we report on patterning, engraving, cutting and grooving of copper, steel and other metals with a 20 Watt average power, 4 MHz rep rate, 20 ps pulse width fiber laser. Basic processing parameters such as speed, material removal rates, and quality are analyzed and reported to establish process scalability. Finally several specific applications such as cylinder grooving, cutting, engraving, and texturing are discussed.

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