Wet laser processing—benefits at a glance

Laser processing and water are not usually mentioned in the same breath—unless we are talking about underwater laser cutting on offshore foundations or sheet piling. This is different with the Laser MicroJet (LMJ) process from Swiss company Synova S.A.: But what are the benefits of water-jet guided laser processing?

Schematic display of the LMJ process

  • The water jet guides the laser beam like an optical fiber, as the light is fully reflected at the water-air interface. This is why the laser beam does not have to be focused on a single focal point. The approximately 20 to 80 micrometer water jet guides the light vertically into the kerf and ensures precise, smooth edges even with centimeter deep cuts.
  • While the laser pulses heat and evaporate the material, the water cleans and cools the kerf. This maximizes material removal and prevents the formation of deposits. The wet laser process is suitable for diamonds, metals, silicon and other materials and is used in tool and turbine manufacturing, medical engineering, photovoltaic production and for cutting, smoothing and drilling.