Cutting Ultra Thin Metal Foil: Is Femtosecond Laser Cutting Machine the Best Choice?

With the improvement of people’s living standards, the requirements for the space we live in are also higher and higher.

For example, communication, we require ultra-high definition, high response speed, safe, reliable and confidential communication, which puts forward higher requirements for communication infrastructure.

To this end, human scientists have broken through the obstacles of 4G communication, developed 5g communication, which has been applied to civilians, and technology has promoted the development of 5g.

In terms of security, national confidential communication is particularly prominent.

Countries have also launched a series of research and development and investment in quantum confidential communication, and are in the forefront of the world, taking an important step for national security communication, thanks to the scientific production performance in aerospace, satellite, communication and other fields.

This series of technological leaps is not only a scientific and technological breakthrough in a single field, but also a series of industrial scientific breakthroughs, such as ultra-thin metal materials, copper foil, aluminum foil, stainless steel foil, nickel alloy foil, titanium alloy foil, which are one of the most widely used materials in satellite, aerospace, communications, 5g fields.

Ultra thin metal

Ultra thin metal

Ultra thin metals have extraordinary applications in aerospace, satellite, communication, 5g and other fields, such as human blood vessels, which are widely distributed and play a significant role.

In the early days, the requirements for ultra-thin metal materials were relatively simple, and it was good to ensure the conductivity.

However, with the continuous improvement of technology, the characteristics of lightness, conductivity, high precision and so on are gradually put on the agenda, and higher requirements are put forward for ultra-thin metals, which require no burr, no deformation, ultra-fine linewidth, ultra-high precision, ultra-thin materials.

These high standards also put forward higher requirements for processing tools.

In the field of ultra-thin metal materials, such as copper foil, stainless steel foil, titanium alloy foil, nickel alloy foil and other material processing tools, knife die cutting or chemical etching are used.

With the increasing demand, especially under the high standard requirements in 5g, aerospace, satellite and other fields, the traditional process mode gradually shows weakness.

For example, the cutting of knife and die will produce deformation and burr residue, which will affect the product performance;

Chemical etching processing requires screen printing, especially for the processing of multi specification materials, which requires a large number of screen printing, which is not conducive to the processing of various products.

In addition, chemical etching pollutes the environment seriously, especially under the pressure of environmental protection control, more and more chemical etching processing plants have been evacuated, causing great trouble to processing enterprises.

Under this premise, a process of laser cutting ultra-thin metal foil has entered relevant fields, which has brought new ideas to the development of the industry.

In the laser cutting industry, the types suitable for cutting ultra-thin metal foil materials are also divided into infrared nanosecond laser cutting, nanosecond ultraviolet laser cutting and ultrafast laser cutting.

The advantage of laser cutting ultra-thin metal foil is that it is not limited by graphics. It can import CAD drawings or draw graphics in software at any time, which is convenient and fast, and the cycle is short.

However, laser cutting of copper foil, stainless steel foil and nickel alloy foil also has the problems of traditional technology, and there are also new problems.

Nanosecond infrared laser cutting machine

Nanosecond infrared laser cutting machine

Low power pulse infrared laser cutting machine or MOPA infrared laser cutting machine can be used.

The advantage of this type of laser cutting ultra-thin metal foil is that it is fast, but the disadvantage is that it is easy to make the material heat deformation, burr, carbonization, etc.

However, compared with nanosecond ultraviolet or ultrafast laser cutting machines, nanosecond infrared laser cutting machines can process thick materials, which are generally suitable for processing metal foil above 0.2mm.

Especially for customers with high processing speed and low precision requirements, it is suitable for cutting stainless steel foil, copper foil, nickel alloy foil, etc. with nanosecond infrared laser, and the equipment has low cost and long service life, which is suitable for cutting metal foil above 0.2mm.

Nanosecond ultraviolet laser cutting machine

Adopt nanosecond ultraviolet laser cutting machine of more than 10W.

The advantage of cutting ultra-thin metal foil is that it has no deformation and burr.
The disadvantage is that there will be carbonization.

The thicker the material, the more obvious the degree of carbonization.

Some of them have black edges of soot visible to the naked eye, which can be removed under the condition of ultrasonic cleaning.

There will be burrs under the high-power magnifying glass.

Compared with nanosecond infrared laser cutting machine, the single pulse energy is small and the cutting speed is relatively low, which is not suitable for cutting thick metal foil and suitable for processing materials below 0.1mm.

In addition, nanosecond UV laser cutting machine is suitable for multi-layer material processing, such as multi-layer copper foil UV laser cutting, or aluminum foil plus a layer of PET film cutting, which is suitable for nanosecond UV laser cutting machine processing.

Ultrafast laser cutting machine

Ultrafast laser cutting machine refers to the use of ultrashort pulse laser cutting equipment, usually including picosecond infrared laser cutting machine, ultraviolet laser cutting machine and femtosecond infrared laser cutting machine.

At present, for ultra-thin metal materials, femtosecond infrared laser cutting machine developed by laser manufacturers is applied to cutting stainless steel foil, copper foil, nickel alloy foil, titanium alloy foil and other materials.

Compared with nanosecond laser cutting equipment, femtosecond laser cutting machine has obvious advantages, no burr, no deformation, low thermal impact, and the degree of carbonization is as low as 2 microns.

Femtosecond laser cutting machine refers to the ultra fast laser with femtosecond pulse laser time.

1030nm, 515nm or 315nm band laser can be selected according to the material characteristics.

At present, the domestic equipment is mainly equipped with 1030nm and 515nm femtosecond lasers.

It is widely used in cutting, etching, punching, micro nano diversion scribing and other applications.

Its processing characteristics are that it has little thermal effect on the material and the interaction time with the material is very short.

In some materials, it is lower than the Brownian motion time between material molecules, so the thermal effect is extremely small, which will not cause the deformation of ultra-thin metal materials, burrs, particle dust, etc.

Wrap it up

The advantage of ultra fast femtosecond laser cutting machine in ultra-thin metal foil lies in its high precision, which is suitable for micro precision machining;

UV laser cutting machine is suitable for precision processing, multi-layer material processing, material processing less than 0.1mm;

Infrared laser cutting machine is suitable for processing thick and ultra-thin materials above 0.2mm, and materials with low accuracy requirements.

Femtosecond laser cutting machine has high flexibility, which is not only limited to cutting ultra-thin metal materials, but also for the etching of multi-layer materials or the processing of micro nano guide structures on the surface of materials, such as silicon scribing, stainless steel grating, ceramic scribing, thin film material scribing, glass scribing, etc.

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