Laser Beam Machining (LBM), State of the Art and New Opportunities

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An overview is given of the state of the art of laser beam machining in general with special emphasis on applications of short and ultrashort lasers. In laser welding the trend is to apply optical sensors for process control. Laser surface treatment is mostly used to apply corrosion and wear resistant layers, but also for repair of engine and machine parts. In micro-machining, shorter pulses reduce heat-affected damage of the material and opens new ways for nanometer accuracy. Even 40 years after the development of the laser there is a lot of effort in developing new and better performing lasers. The driving force is higher accuracy at reasonable cost, which is realised by compact systems delivering short laser pulses of high beam quality. Another trend is the shift towards shorter wavelengths, which are better absorbed by the material and which allows smaller feature sizes to be produced. Examples of new products, which became possible by this technique, are given. The trends in miniaturisation as predicted by Moore and Taniguchi are expected to continue over the next decade too thanks to short and ultrashort laser machining techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-17
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of materials processing technology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • METIS-217967
  • Micro machining
  • IR-75707
  • Laser beam machining (LBM)
  • Ablation
  • Surface treatment
  • Welding


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