Laser Processing of Dexmet MicroGrid® AL 25 Expanded Aluminum


Dexmet MicroGrid® AL 25 sheet mesh, an alternative to woven wire designed to eliminate the unraveling and contact resistance of woven mesh, is part of a product line of expanded metal and metal foils. MicroGrid® AL 25 is a thin gauge, flattened, expanded aluminum mesh consisting of a 25µm thick aluminum sheet. A diagram depicting MicroGrid® AL 25 is shown in Figure 1.
Dexmet MicroGrid AL 25 Expanded Aluminum Layers

Figure 1. MicroGrid® AL 25 diagram showing the aluminum sheet (25µm thick).

MicroGrid® AL 25 is used in various applications in battery, aerospace, and automotive manufacturing. It is also used in electrolyzers, fuel cells, battery electrodes, EMI shielding, as a filter media, and in medical devices. The non-contact nature of laser processing enables applications with small features and fine geometry to be processed, which may be difficult to achieve with traditional mechanical methods. MicroGrid® AL 25 is only suitable for laser cutting, which produces consistent edges and minimal heat-affected zones. Other laser processes are not suggested as they are not conducive to the intended use of this material. Universal Laser Systems (ULS) makes it possible to consistently and repeatedly process this material to a high degree of dimensional accuracy, with virtually no material deformation during processing.

Laser Processing Notes

MicroGrid® AL 25 was tested to assess laser processing compatibility and to determine the best configuration of laser peak power and wavelength. MicroGrid® AL 25 absorbs the 1.06µm fiber laser energy efficiently. A 300x magnification microscopy image of the edge of MicroGrid® AL 25 after laser cutting with a 50 watt 1.06µm fiber laser source is shown in Figure 2.
Dexmet MicroGrid AL 25 Expanded Aluminum Figure 2

Figure 2. Microscopy image (300x) of the edge after laser cutting MicroGrid® AL 25. The heat-affected zone measures 25µm.

Processing Example

MicroGrid® AL 25 applications requiring fine geometry and intricate detail without degrading the physical properties of the material can be achieved with ULS technology. An example demonstrating the results of laser cutting MicroGrid® AL 25 using the recommended system configuration is shown in Figure 3.
Dexmet MicroGrid AL 25 Expanded Aluminum Figure 3

Figure 3. Example of the geometry possible when laser cutting MicroGrid® AL 25.


MicroGrid® AL 25 is suitable for laser processing and was extensively tested to determine the optimal processing configuration. Through this testing it was determined that laser cutting is viable with this material and that a 50 watt 1.06µm fiber laser source is the recommended system configuration.