Ceramics are an important material in micro and precision engineering and are indispensable when producing electronic components, for example. As the requirements on the materials increase, higher hardness and temperature resistance are required. However, as their hardness increases ceramics become increasingly brittle and are therefore difficult to process using conventional methods. In order to prevent the component being weakened by cracks or tension, low speeds need to be used for mechanical methods. The tools wear quickly and, in many cases, costly rework is required to achieve good component quality. In comparison, laser processing offers a number of clear advantages.
Summary: By selecting the appropriate laser parameters, such as the pulse energy, pulse overlap rate and repetition rate, the development of micro-cracks can be prevented, which avoids the need for expensive rework.
|Conventional method||Mechanical CO2 laser|
|Challenge||Processing that causes minimal damage|
|Max. pulse energy||250 µJ|
|Speed||20 holes/s, 5 - 20 mm/s|
|Advantages||Processing that causes minimal damage; no rework; the non-contact processing method means there is no tool wear; any geometry can be produced with minimal corrections; flexibility|