Laser microperforation, what is it?
Laser microperforationconsists of drilling holes of controlled size using laser technology. There is no contact between the tool and the substrate, since material removal is performed using concentrated light. Through this technology it is possible to obtain micro-perforations of high definition and quality, ranging from 5 microns to the millimeter range. This makes it possible to obtain new functionalities in the material, such as control of the passage of liquids and gases, filtration or controlled dosing.
Types of laser micro drilling
When the thickness of the layer to be drilled is low, a laser with the appropriate power and spot diameter can be used to get through the material in a single laser pulse. In this way, the perforation with the desired characteristics is obtained, obtaining high productivity and perforation speed.
When the layer thickness is high, the material absorbs little energy, or the laser is not powerful enough to perforate the layer in a single pulse, percussion is used. This method consists of launching several pulses at the same point to remove material from the surface until it is perforated.
This method is indicated for large microperforations, larger than the diameter of the laser spot. In these cases, the diameter of the hole is traversed by moving the laser beam in order to perforate it. Simply explained, it would be like trying to cut out a circle with a punch, making many holes. This is also the technique used for conventional laser cutting.
Define diameter and spacing
In the first stage it is important to define the diameter and spacing of the microperforations to suit the needs of the application.
Selection of the laser to be used
Selection of the type of laser, power and optics required. This selection is limited by the material on which the test is performed. In our facilities we have different types of lasers that allow us to select the most suitable for each case (UV, IR, CO2, etc.).
Optimization of laser parameters
Once the laser type has been selected, it is important to optimize the parameters to achieve the best possible result on the material. The most important parameters are power, pulse, frequency and spacing among others.
Prototyping and validation
Once the parameters are optimized, the final prototypes are fabricated and validated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and functional tests, depending on the final application.
Industrialization of the selected laser
Finally, if the prototypes meet the established requirements, ATRIA takes care of the installation and integration of the laser equipment into the production process.
Laser microdrilling applications
To obtain metal filters with small hole diameters, there are currently few alternatives in the industry. If a high hole density and low hole diameter is required, laser microperforation is the most commonly used option.
It is important to have as much apparent area as possible to favor chemical reactions. For this reason, wire-based meshes are normally used, although catalyst sheets can also be microperforated to obtain a greater amount of area.
Allow gas to pass through
Phase separation is a process that has always been of great industrial interest. Now, by means of laser microperforation, films can be created with holes so small that gases can pass through, but not liquids.
Controlled liquid dosing
Es posible crear envases plásticos que sean autodosificados, dejando pasar una determinada cantidad de líquido cada cierto tiempo. La cantidad de líquido dosificado se puede controlar mediante el diámetro y cantidad de microperforaciones realizadas.