Surface functionalization is a rapidly growing application for industrial ultrafast lasers. There is an increasing interest for high throughput surface processing, especially for texturing and engraving large manufacturing tools for different industrial fields such as injection molding, embossing and printing. Hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces, colored or deep black metal surfaces can now be industrially produced. The engraving speed is continuously improving following improvements in beam scanning technology and high average power industrial ultrafast lasers. Several tenths of MHz for the laser repetition rate and several hundreds of meter per second for the beam speed are available. More than 100 m/s scanning speed is then possible for laser surface structuring. But these surfaces are quite hard to produce since it is necessary to have a good compromise between high removal rate and high surface quality (low roughness, burr-free, narrow heat affected zone). In this work, we apply a simple engineering model based on the two temperature description of ultra-fast ablation to estimate key processing parameters. In particular, the pulse-to-pulse overlap which depends on the scanning velocity, the spot size, and the laser repetition rate all have to be adjusted to optimize the depth and roughness, otherwise heat accumulation and heat affected zone may appear. Optimal sequences of time and spatial superposition of pulses are determined and applied with a polygonal scanner. Ablation depth and processing speed obtained are compared with experimental results.
Girolamo Mincuzzi, Rainer Kling, John Lopez, Clemens Hoenninger, Eric Audouard, and Eric P. Mottay, "High speed ultrafast laser surface processing (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10094, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XVII, 100940L (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 30, 2017; Published: 21 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251175.5389862316001.
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