Ablation is a process that removes material from the surface of a product. This can be done with the help of chemicals, electricity, and even lasers. The process of ablation is particularly useful for industrial applications with tough-to-achieve parameters. For example, the ablation process is used to create heat shields in spacecraft and satellites. Learning how laser ablation stands out from other types of ablation can help manufacturers to determine whether or not it’s the right choice for a particular application.
How Laser Ablation Works
Laser ablation irradiates material in order to remove it, ultimately causing targeted vaporization. Manufacturers can adjust the pulse length, intensity of the laser, and wavelength in order to remove varying amounts of material.
How Laser Ablation Stands Out from Other Types of Ablation
Laser ablation excels in the production industry when it comes to precision and versatility. Not only can it be used on metal products, it can also be used on glass, and ceramics. Industrial applications in the automotive and aerospace industry commonly make use of the laser ablation process because of its ability to deliver bulletproof results.
Other types of ablation include chipping and erosive processes, biological ablation, electro-ablation, and mechanochemical ablation. Ablation processes that require chipping and erosion are more prone to distorting materials than laser ablation. Biological ablation is a process that removes biological material, like in the medical industry. Electro-ablation is a process that removes material from metal to decrease roughness, allowing for surface finishing. Finally, mechanochemical ablation uses mechanical endothelial damage and a sclerosant for ablation.
Instead of using harmful chemicals and erratic ablation methods, laser ablation allows a greater range of control for those who execute the process. Additional laser ablation benefits include minimal heat transfer, long-term cost, and it’s even a green alternative because it doesn’t require the use of toxic chemicals.
Laser Ablation Uses
When it comes to manufacturing, laser ablation delivers a reliable product with the ideal finish. Rather than worrying about surface roughness, manufacturers know that the laser ablation process is more likely to render a smooth and complete surface. Laser ablation can also be used to drill extremely small holes, to produce films, and even to control a material in a micro-fashion, honing in on tiny details. Laser ablation is commonly performed with either a continuous wave laser or a pulsed laser beam. And the results are permanent.