The Fundamentals of Laser Technology

List of Laser Processes

Lasers are playing an ever expanding role in material processing, from new product development to high volume manufacturing. For all laser processes, the energy of a laser beam interacts with a material to transform it in some way. Each transformation (or laser process) is controlled by precisely regulating the wavelength, power, duty cycle and repetition rate of the laser beam. These laser processes include the following:

  • Laser Annealing
    The energy of the laser beam heats the material directly in its path causing it to undergo a phase change (for example, from amorphous to polycrystalline).

  • Laser Cutting
    Complete removal and separation of a material from the top surface to the bottom surface along a designated path.

  • Laser Drilling
    Removal of material by applying focused laser energy to a material without moving the laser beam during the process.

  • Laser Engraving/Etching
    Removal of material from the top surface down to a specified depth.

  • Laser Machining
    Controlled material removal through a combination of laser cutting, laser engraving and laser drilling to create a certain shape, size or appearance.

  • Laser Marking
    Modification of the surface of a material to create human and/or machine readable alphanumeric characters, 1D/2D barcodes, logos, insignia, etc. mainly for the purpose of identification.

  • Laser Perforating
    Process of creating a pattern of holes through a material.

  • Laser Photo Engraving
    Laser engraving or laser marking of a photo image onto the surface of the material.

  • Laser Scoring
    Partial removal of material along a designated path for the purpose of folding or breaking the material along that path.