Lasers, or generators of electromagnetic radiation, are devices using the phenomenon of forced emission of radiation. Laser sources generate monochromatic, temporally, and spatially coherent, collimated electromagnetic waves in the range from infrared to ultraviolet. Their operation consists in the excitation of an active medium by pumping of various types: electrical, optical, chemical or electron collisions. The excited medium emits energy in the form of a coherent radiation quantum.
The use of various laser systems in industry is becoming increasingly widespread, particularly for welding, cutting and marking processes. In the case of laser surface treatment, such as surface cleaning or activation, laser systems are used successfully in the automotive, aerospace and defense industries. It is worth noting that laser processing is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional blasting and chemical methods. Pulsed fibre lasers meet the highest requirements in terms of processing quality and process safety.
Laser surface treatment is made possible by the phenomenon of so-called ablation, also known as ablative evaporation, desorption, or laser etching, which involves the evaporation of the surface layer when a threshold energy value is reached. As a result of the contact between the laser beam and the surface of the matter, an exchange of energy takes place between the applied laser radiation and the workpiece material. With the appropriate choice of power density, the energy is absorbed, the layer or coating is melted and the material from the molten zone is rapidly vaporized and ejected as a reaction product plasma. This makes it possible to remove contaminants safely and precisely from virtually any surface – including metal alloys, composites, ceramics and even paper.