LCP Laser Cut Processing

Water-jet guided laser processing

High-precision high-tech components

New processing qualities thanks to innovative laser cutting process

Material processing with the water-jet guided laser is a hybrid process that combines the laser with a hair-thin water jet. This brings the advantages of conventional laser cutting processes, such as high precision and speed, while at the same time reducing their disadvantages, such as heat input on materials and usually conical cutting edge angles. The result is high-quality, cost-effective and quickly processed components made from high-performance materials. Discover the possibilities of waterjet laser technology now!


How does the water-jet guided laser work?

The water-jet guided laser technology, also known as water jet guided technology, was developed and patented as Laser MicroJet® by Synova S.A. in Duillier, Switzerland. The decisive difference to other laser technologies is the coupling of the laser beam into an extremely fine, laminar water jet, which guides the laser pulses precisely to the workpiece through total reflection. The water jet acts almost like a light guide similar to an optical fiber.

What are the advantages of this water jet laser processing?

The biggest advantage in industrial applications is the high aspect ratio of up to 400:1 that can be achieved for cuts and 20:1 for bores (both depending on the material) and the more efficient machining of electrically non-conductive, usually very thick materials that cannot be eroded and where conventional grinding with or without ultrasonic support is hardly economically viable.

The process also offers a large working distance of up to 50 millimetres. Thanks to the very narrow and cylindrical water jet, which guides the laser beam inside, very thin kerfs and vertical cutting edges can be achieved with high precision and minimal material loss with consistently high cutting quality. In addition, the process is almost Z-layer independent thanks to the water jet, which means that it can also be used in cavities, holes and pockets.

The connection between the laser and the water jet ensures sufficient cooling of the workpiece during processing, preventing thermal damage and minimizing material distortion. The water also effectively removes and transports away removed material residues. Oxidation and particle contamination are reduced to a minimum. 

As this is an ablative process, the material does not have to be cut completely. This means that pockets and chamfers can also be produced.

Water-jet guided laser or conventional laser?

In direct comparison to conventional laser processing methods, the advantages of laser water jet technology are once again clear: flexibility proves to be the greatest advantage, which is achieved through a very large usable range of depth of field. By using a laminar water jet as a light guide, the focus position does not need to be adjusted. In addition, laser cutting of free-form geometries and processing of uneven surfaces as well as in the third dimension with different cutting depths is possible. 

The shape of the processing beam also differs between the two methods. In conventional laser material processing, the laser beam is conical in shape due to its divergence and leaves angled rather than parallel cutting edges during processing. In contrast, the cylindrical water jet guides the laser beam through total internal reflection, thus ensuring constant laser beam intensity. As a result, the new water-jet guided technology can produce high-precision, perpendicular and parallel cutting edges.

The aforementioned removal of removed material by the water prevents deposits and soiling on the surface of the processed objects. The concentrated water jet also ensures that no burrs are created by deposits

In which areas are water jet laser processes used?

It is a technology for micro-precision machining that is used in many areas that require maximum accuracy. In addition to the field of automation and equipment suppliers for the semiconductor industry, examples include the aerospace industry, precision mechanics such as the watch and luxury goods industry, medical technology, electronics & opto-electronics and the automotive sector.

Which materials can be processed with water jet laser technology?

Water jet hybrid cutting with laser radiation is considered to be particularly gentle, which is why it is particularly suitable for processing sensitive surface coatings, deformation- and heat-sensitive workpieces as well as brittle and hard materials. In general, the process is considered versatile and is suitable for processing:

  • Silicon (poly- and monocrystalline) 
  • Silicon carbide (SiC, SSiC, SiSiC, RSiC), boron carbide (B4C)
  • Silicon nitride (SiN), boron nitride (BN)
  • Ferrite materials (hard and soft magnetic materials)
  • Graphite
  • Zirconium oxide (ZrO, ZTA, ATZ), Low Temperature Cofired Ceramics (LTCC), High Temperature Cofired Ceramics (HTCC)
  • Stainless and spring steels
  • Aluminum and aluminum alloys, titanium and nickel alloys
  • Refractory metals (W, Mo, Ta, Nb)

Other materials are available on request.

In addition to the wide range of materials, a broad spectrum of material thicknesses from 0.1 to 20 mm is possible for processing. The choice depends on the materials selected.

What are the areas of application for the water-jet guided laser?

The areas of application of the water-jet guided laser are as varied as the advantages and materials that can be used, and it has also established itself alongside other non-conventional machining methods such as wire erosion, grinding and abrasive water jet cutting. The possible machining processes on up to five axes include:

  • Water jet laser cutting
  • Water jet laser drilling
  • Water jet laser structuring
  • Water jet laser notching
  • Water jet laser engraving

These processes are characterized by their high processing speed and accuracy. The precision remains unaffected.

Download data sheets

  • pdf
    Water-Jet Guided Laser Processing
    119 KB
  • pdf
    Laser Fine Cutting
    321 KB
  • pdf
    Laser Structuring
    329 KB
  • pdf
    Data Transfer
    134 KB

Water-jet guided lasers and our other services

Our expertise in water jet laser processing opens up numerous advantages for your industrial applications. With state-of-the-art technology and precise results, we offer you tailor-made solutions for a wide range of materials and requirements. In addition to water jet laser cutting, we also offer comprehensive services in the areas of laser drilling, laser structuring, laser scribing and laser marking.

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