High Quality Laser Ablation Using a 400W Fiber Laser
Low power pulsed fiber lasers operating at 1080nm with a very good beam quality (M2 ~ 1.10) are routinely used for a range of micromachining applications.
The high brightness of the fiber laser enable high power densities even at modest power levels, which is sufficient for cutting a range of thin metals, capable of welding of various materials including high reflective material and also drilling small holes in metals including aerospace alloys.
To date very little work has been carried out with these lasers for ablation applications. The laser ablation of metals is normally carried out with Q-switched pulsed lasers ranging from microsecond to femtosecond pulse durations, pulse frequencies up to 50 kHz and extremely high peak powers (MW).
In this work, laser ablation of a variety of materials including TBC super alloys used for aerospace has been demonstrated with a single mode fiber laser up to 400W. The paper will investigate the material removal rates and ablation quality.
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