Laser Ablation

Laser ablation – in some cases called Laser Cleaning – is the process of removing material from a surface using a laser. It works by focusing a laser onto a substrate to remove material on its surface (watch video). The amount of material removed depends on the intensity, pulse width and wavelength of the laser utilized, as well as the material itself which absorbs the laser light and breaks down the chemical bonds in the area. It can be achieved with either a pulsed nanosecond (fiber) laser or a continuous wave laser, although the former is more commonly used due to the high level of laser intensity.

laser ablation, laser cleaning
Battery can with fingerprint (left) and after laser cleaning (right)

Laser ablation has many benefits over traditional media blasting methods like sandblasting and dry ice blasting which are time-consuming, inflexible, expensive, multi-step processes that also carry risks to the environment. Laser cleaning, by contrast, is fast, safe and cost-effective.

Use laser ablation/laser cleaning to prep surfaces for welding. Clean surfaces result in stronger weld joints.

Read more in our paper Laser Cleaning for e-Mobility

Laser ablation is also used to strip wires of insulation and coatings, and to selectively remove material.

laser ablation, selective ablation
Selective laser ablation
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