High-Speed Laser Processing of Thin Single and Multi-Layer Films

Lutey, Adrian Hugh Alexander (2013) High-Speed Laser Processing of Thin Single and Multi-Layer Films, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Meccanica e scienze avanzate dell'ingegneria: progetto n. 2 "Ingegneria delle macchine e dei sistemi energetici", 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5741.
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Theoretical models are developed for the continuous-wave and pulsed laser incision and cut of thin single and multi-layer films. A one-dimensional steady-state model establishes the theoretical foundations of the problem by combining a power-balance integral with heat flow in the direction of laser motion. In this approach, classical modelling methods for laser processing are extended by introducing multi-layer optical absorption and thermal properties. The calculation domain is consequently divided in correspondence with the progressive removal of individual layers. A second, time-domain numerical model for the short-pulse laser ablation of metals accounts for changes in optical and thermal properties during a single laser pulse. With sufficient fluence, the target surface is heated towards its critical temperature and homogeneous boiling or "phase explosion" takes place. Improvements are seen over previous works with the more accurate calculation of optical absorption and shielding of the incident beam by the ablation products. A third, general time-domain numerical laser processing model combines ablation depth and energy absorption data from the short-pulse model with two-dimensional heat flow in an arbitrary multi-layer structure. Layer removal is the result of both progressive short-pulse ablation and classical vaporisation due to long-term heating of the sample. At low velocity, pulsed laser exposure of multi-layer films comprising aluminium-plastic and aluminium-paper are found to be characterised by short-pulse ablation of the metallic layer and vaporisation or degradation of the others due to thermal conduction from the former. At high velocity, all layers of the two films are ultimately removed by vaporisation or degradation as the average beam power is increased to achieve a complete cut. The transition velocity between the two characteristic removal types is shown to be a function of the pulse repetition rate. An experimental investigation validates the simulation results and provides new laser processing data for some typical packaging materials.


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