Laser Processing of Materials

Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (laser) is a coherent and monochromatic beam of electromagnetic radiation that can propagate in a straight line with insignificant divergence and occur in a wide range of wavelength, energy and beam-modes. Thus, lasers find wide applications in different industries and scientific researches.

Here we review some applications of the lasers for the processing of materials.

Cutting, Marking and Welding:

Laser cutting is a mature industrial process with high flexibility, non-contact and stress free processes that produce finished parts direct from the tool. Lasers are commonly used for marking and engraving of materials. There are a wide range of applications found in the automotive, electronics/semiconductor, aerospace, medical and beverage industries.

The main advantage of using lasers for welding is high processing speeds with no tool wear due to a contact free process. Laser welding leaves low heat affected zones and low part distortion because of small welding seams with very little need for post processing. Generally, materials that can be welded by conventional technologies can be welded by a laser [1].

Surface engineering:

The surface engineering methods based on application of laser beams are free from many limitations of the equilibrium surface engineering methods. A laser beam is capable of intense heating and melting surface of the most metals and ceramics. The energy deposition profile in the irradiated zone under electron beam is Gaussian, and hence, the latter is more suitable for deep penetration welding or cladding of similar or dissimilar solids [2].

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Classification of laser material processing [2]


[2]. J Dutta Majumdar and I Manna, “Laser processing of materials”, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721 302, India.