• Laser processing of polymers: an overview

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    • Keywords


      Polymers; laser processing; volatile decomposition; kerf; heat-affected zone; combustion; surface softening; photo-etching

    • Abstract


      A review of the author’s work on laser processing of polymers and others’ work on photo-etching in polymers is presented. Processes based on laser-induced volatile decomposition like cutting, engraving, etc. are investigated in thermoset and thermopolymers using a continuous wave CO2 laser. Dependence of geometrical parameters and gross thermal effects on parameters of the laser beam for these processes are discussed. It is shown that a highly combustible polymer like cellulose nitrate can be processed with a CO2 laser in air because of the faster kinetics of the volatile decomposition than that of the combustion. It is found that irreversible surface softening can be achieved in a thermoset polymer of allyl diglycol carbonate by treating it with a CO2 laser. Basic parametric relations of this phenomenon are established. Mechanism of laser softening in the surface of a thermoset polymer is discussed. Finally, the process of fine etching based on photodecomposition in polymers is presented and various theories proposed to explain this phenomenon are discussed in brief.

    • Author Affiliations


      Lalit Mohan Kukreja1

      1. Laser Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay - 400 085, India
    • Dates

  • Bulletin of Materials Science | News

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