Backlight unit (BLU) patterning

A CO2 laser can be used with an AOM to create a consistent backlighting pattern on PMMA (acrylic) material. The AOM allows the user to control the energy within each pulse when processing in order to give uniform light distribution across the finished piece. The SR AOM laser sources provide precise pulse-to-pulse control along with excellent power stability, and the short rise and fall times minimise heating of the material surrounding the processed area.  The result is a highly controllable process, and a pattern of crisp, clean and consistent dots across the entire workpiece.

Cutting & drilling carbon fibre composites

Carbon fibre composites are commonplace in the automotive and aerospace industries due to their high strength-to-weight ratio but machining them is difficult as it evaporates the epoxy resin which binds the composite together. Mechanical processing can result in de-lamination and matrix damage, and tool wear and breakage. Conventional laser processing creates a heat-affected zone (HAZ) around the cut, leaving the fibres exposed and compromising the strength of the material.

With a Luxinar LXR® series femtosecond laser heat diffusion is greatly reduced, so cutting can be accomplished leaving the epoxy resin intact. This means that holes can be drilled and features cut out without compromising the strength of the carbon fibre sheet.

Thin film cutting

A wide range of thin films are used in many different industries including display, automotive, EMS, lighting, and flexible packaging.  In some cases the film may be mounted on glass, and must be kiss cut without damage to the substrate.  In other applications the film is unsupported, and must simply be cut cleanly, with minimal debris and HAZ. An AOM-integrated CO2 laser can bring a higher quality machined finish with less heat affected zone (HAZ) compared to a standard pulsed CO2 laser.

Luxinar’s SR AOM has a typical 2μs demand pulse shape that exhibits a ~350ns pulse rise time. This short rise/fall time helps to minimise HAZ which is ideal for cutting thin films such as polarization, projected capacitive and PDLCD.

Plastic marking

Our CO2 lasers can be used to mark a wide range of plastic products, from packaging films and bottles to medical devices. The appearance of the mark depends strongly on the type of plastic used.

In many cases, the laser induces no colour change in the plastic, resulting in an engraved mark which is unobtrusive and does not spoil the appearance of the product. Special additives can be used when a more visible mark with high contrast is required. This also happens with many pearlised plastics, as well as PVC.

Plastic cutting

Plastics are widely used in the world today – applications include automotive parts, signage, medical devices, packaging, lighting, white goods, furniture, electronic devices, and many more.

CO2 laser cutting of plastics is a very efficient process; high absorption and low thermal conductivity means that little energy is wasted. However, plastics are a diverse group of materials, and the results depend strongly on the type and chemical composition of the plastic in question.

Thermoplastic materials can generally be cut cleanly – these include acrylic, polyethylene, polystyrene, polypropylene, PET, polyurethane and ABS. Thermosetting materials such as epoxy and phenolic resins and polyimide are difficult to cut without discolouration or charring, on the other hand.

Robotic plastic cutting

Plastics are commonplace in the automotive industry today. Materials such as ABS, PC/ABS and polypropylene may be used for bumpers, dashboards, and interior pillars, while transparent polycarbonate and acrylic materials can be found in headlight lenses and other components.

Lasers are often used in conjunction with robot systems in order to follow the contours of 3-dimensional parts. Holes can be cut in dashboards and pillars, edges can be trimmed, and waste material left by the injection moulding process can be removed.

Laser processing is fast, flexible and consistent, and robot cells can often be fully automated to increase productivity.

Modified atmosphere packaging

Laser perforation of plastic packaging films can increase the shelf life of certain fruits and vegetables, compared with unperforated packaging. So-called modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) technology uses laser-perforated holes to regulate the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and other gases inside the pack, maintaining the freshness of the produce inside.

Our CO2 lasers are used to perforate holes at regular intervals across the plastic packaging film. The optimum conditions vary according to product type, so the hole size and spacing must be precisely controlled. The laser process is flexible – hole size can be monitored and adjusted on the fly, and hole spacing can be changed very easily.

PET marking

Plastic bottles are widely used in the soft drinks industry, and are most often made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate), a clear, strong, lightweight and food-safe plastic. CO2 laser codes applied to PET bottles are indelible and tamper-proof. Coding directly on the plastic bottles means that the information is preserved, even if the label is removed.

PET responds particularly well to the 9.3µm wavelength, which makes marks with enhanced contrast and higher visibility. Best before dates, batch codes and other information can be applied on the fly, using a high speed galvo system to track the products on the production line.

Acrylic cutting

Our lasers can cut acrylic with a perfect flame-polished finish, eliminating the need for post-processing. The laser vaporises the plastic, leaving clean, sharp edges as it cuts.

Laser cutting is ideal for applications where appearance is paramount. Acrylic is available in a wide range of colours, and can be used for signage, point of sale displays, costume jewellery, trophies and awards, ornamental items, lighting… the creative possibilities are endless. Complex shapes can be cut out with ease, and acrylic can also be laser engraved to apply text and graphics to the surface if required.