What Causes the Carbonization?
The effect of carbonization is caused by the char which is generated during the removal of the material. The energy induced into the material by the laser heats the material and then melts and vaporizes it. A specific temperature threshold must not be exceeded during the process. Otherwise the material will burn and release carbon. In the case of FR-4 material, for example, this limit is 350°C.
What are the Disadvantages of Carbonization?
The carbonization of materials during Laser Depaneling may still occur for those that are using the incorrect laser wavelength and/or cutting parameters. While LPKF's technology and techniques have been proven to succesfully eliminate carbonization, there are still laser systems on the market which are promoting 20+ year old technology. The carbonization caused has some decisive disadvantages for the user:
- Unpleasant smell
- Visual defects
- Poor surface quality
The Solution: LPKF's CleanCut-Technology
The CleanCut-technology is an innovative process for laser cutting of printed circuit boards. The result is a previously unattained technical cleanliness of the cutting edge and a high quality product. The processed cutting is100% carbonization-free. To achieve this technical cleanliness, LPKF machines do not require an additional cleaning step which would extend the processing time.
Overall, the probability of failure of processed PCBs can be significantly reduced by the clean and dust-free cutting edges and components.
Which Benefits Does the CleanCut-Technology Generate?
LPKF's CleanCut-technology offers its users concrete unique selling propositions to differentiate themselves from the rest of the competition. Unused potential can be exploited particularly in terms of quality and cost reductions (including lower reject rates).
Benefits of the CleanCut-technology
In contrast to the Laser Depaneling processes used by other market suppliers, LPKF's CleanCut-technology enables PCBs to be processed completely free of carbonization. Burning of the materials is prevented by using this technology.
Compared to other Laser Depaneling processes that are part of the competition, the CleanCut-technology allows even higher quality processing of materials. The result is a technical cleanliness and precision that is second to none.
Technical cleanliness plays a decisive role in the long-term stability of printed circuit boards. As a measure of cleanliness, the surface resistance can be determined by means of a SIR test (Surface Insulation Resistance). For example, residues on the PCB, i.e. under, between or on the components can cause dendrite formation. These constantly growing crystal structures can lead to short circuits and associated malfunctions.
The CleanCut-technology combined outstanding quality with a comparatively high processing speed. In addition, milling work can be made superflous with full cuts and consequently process chains can be shortened.
Processing speeds can vary depending on the laser power and wavelength used and the material to be processed. We would be pleased to advise you on the selection of the appropriate system for your specific application context.
Optional Exhausting Head
In addition to the CleanCut-technology, LPKF also offers an optionally available exhausting head that can be integrated into all CuttingMaster systems. It is a component made of ESD-safe plastic using the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) method.
The flow channels are arranged in the head in an optimized constellation to ensure the most effective extraction possible. By that the performance has been significantly increased compared to the standard extraction unit. An individual adaption of the exhausting head to customer and application specific requirements (e.g. PCB design and assembly) is possible on request.
By the additive manufactured exhausting head, the air flows can be strengthened specifically where the printed circuit boards are cut. The animation below shows the individual flows of the extraction unit and how potential residues are discharged upwards. The risk of deposits of any kind of contaminants can be considerably decreased in this way. This results in a reduction of possible component defects and an increase in production yield.