The laser processing market scale seems to grow slowly in the past two years. However, there is one laser market which is still developing in a rapid speed -- PCB processing related laser market. So how is the current PCB market? Why can it bring great development for the laser industry?
PCB and FPC industry with rapid development and huge market demand
PCB is short for printed circuit board and is one of the most important parts in the electronics industry. It exists in almost every electronic product and is used for electrical connection for each components. PCB consists of insulating baseboard, connecting wire and the pad where electronic components are assembled and welt. Its quality decides the reliability of the electronics, so it is the foundation industry and the biggest segment industry for the electronics industry.
PCB has a wide application market, including consumer electronics, automobile electronics, communication, medical, military and so on. For the time being, consumer electronics and automobile electronics are developing so fast and they become the major applications for PCB.
Among the PCB application in consumer electronics, FPC has the fastest growing speed and taken up bigger and bigger market share of the PCB market. FPC is also known as flexible printed circuit. It is a highly reliable and flexible printed circuit board which uses PI or polyester film as the foundation material. It features light weight, high density of wire distribution and good flexibility, which can perfectly meet the intelligent, thin and light trend in mobile electronics.
The fast growing PCB market leads to a big derivative market. With the development of the laser technique, laser processing gradually replaces traditional die cutting technique and becomes an important part in the PCB industry chain. Therefore, in this big environment where the whole laser market has slow development, the PCB related laser market is still developing fast.
Advantage of laser processing in PCB and FPC
Laser processing in PCB refers to laser cutting, laser drilling and laser marking. Comparing with traditional die cutting technique, laser cutting is non-contact and doesn’t require expensive mold and can achieve high precision with no burr on the cut edge. This makes laser technique the ideal solution for cutting PCB and FPC.
Originally, laser cutting in PCB adopts CO2 laser cutting machine. But CO2 laser cutting machine has big heat affected zone and low cutting efficiency, it did not have wide application. But as the laser technique continues to develop, more and more laser sources are invented and can be used in PCB industry.
For the time being, the commonly used laser source used in PCB and FPC cutting is nanosecond solid state UV laser whose wavelength is 355nm. It has better material absorption rate and smaller heat affected zone, which enables to achieve higher processing precision.
To reduce charring and achieve higher efficiency, laser enterprises continue to develop UV laser of higher power, higher frequency and narrower pulse width. So later 20W,25W and even 30W nanosecond UV lasers were invented to better meet the increasing demand in the PCB and FPC industry.
As the power of the nanosecond UV laser becomes higher, the more heat it will generate. To maintain the optimal processing performance, it requires a precise laser chiller. S&A Teyu water cooling chiller CWUP-30 is capable of cooling nanosecond UV laser up to 30W and features ±0.1℃ stability. This precision enables this portable water chiller to control the water temperature very well so that the UV laser can always be in a suitable temperature range. For more info. about this chiller, click https://www.chillermanual.net/portable-laser-chiller-cwup-30-for-30w-solid-state-ultrafast-laser_p246.html