Explaining FSLA™

FSLA – Flow Supported Laser Ablation

For Producing straight, cylindrical holes or undercut geometries, 3D-Micromac has developed the so-called FSLA™ process (Flow Supported Laser Ablation). This ablation method (patent pending) involves the use of an ultra-short pulse laser, which processes the substrate from the back side. Moreover, a medium is streamed against the back of the substrate. This stream is adapted precisely to the ablation process, and transports away the byproducts of the ablation process and helps prevent heat from accumulating in the substrate.
FSLA™ is suitable for processing all kinds of tempered or untempered glass, as well as sapphire glass. Material thicknesses between 50 µm and 50 mm can be processed. Ablation rates of up to 10 mm³/minute can be achieved. The maximum achievable aspect ratio is ca. 1:15 – dependent on the desired diameter of the hole.
With the FSLA™ method it is possible to process conventional and tempered glass as well as sapphire. The taper of the hole, which is otherwise typical for laser processes, can be averted. Complex geometries can be achieved problem-free.
With its low-damage processing there is practically no chipping. No additional stress is introduced into the material. The achievable edge or bore-hole roughness lies at around Ra.

The FSLA™ technology opens up entirely new possibilities for the next generation of nozzles or for making surface modifications. Moreover, FSLA™ permits the production of complex components for microfluidics applications, motion elements for microdrives, or molds. In the field of display processing it is possible to generate openings for components or interlayer-connections in the highest of quality and shape accuracy, in both tempered glass as well as sapphire. The laser drilling process produces unrivaled edge quality, without chipping, with virtually no adverse effects on the bending strength.
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