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Five Key Points for PCB Circuit Board Design

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For laser cutting or drilling of circuit boards, a UV laser of a few watts or ten watts is all that is needed, without the need for kilowatts of laser power, and the use of flexible circuit boards is becoming increasingly important in consumer electronics, the automotive industry or in robotics. UV laser systems are the first choice for laser drilling and cutting of flexible circuit boards and thin PCB due to their flexible processing, high precision and flexible and controllable processing.

Today's laser systems are equipped with long-life laser sources that are virtually maintenance-free, laser class 1 for safety during production, and no other protective devices 

are required. LPKF laser systems are equipped with a dust extraction unit that does not emit hazardous substances. Together with its intuitive and easy-to-operate software control, laser technology is replacing traditional mechanical processes and saving costs for special tools.

CO2 or UV Laser?

When depaneling or cutting PCB, for example, you can choose a CO2 laser system with a wavelength of approximately 10.6 μm. It is relatively inexpensive to process and delivers several kilowatts of laser power. However, it generates a lot of heat during the cutting process, which can cause severe carbonization of the edges.

UV lasers have a wavelength of 355 nm, which makes the laser beam very easy to focus optically. UV lasers with less than 20 watts of laser power have a focused spot diameter of only 20 μm - and the resulting energy density is comparable to that on the surface of the sun.

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Advantages of UV Laser Processing

UV lasers are particularly suitable for cutting and marking hard boards, hard and soft boards, soft boards and their accessories. So what exactly are the advantages of this laser process?

UV laser cutting systems show great technical advantages in areas such as circuit board depaneling in the SMT industry and microdrilling in the PCB industry. Depending on the thickness of the circuit board material, the laser cuts along the desired contour once or several times. The thinner the material, the faster the cutting speed. If the accumulated laser pulses are lower than those required to penetrate the material, only scratches will appear on the surface of the material; therefore, the material can be marked with a QR code or barcode for information tracking in subsequent processes.

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