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Experimental investigation of the laser ablation process on wood surfaces

Experimentelle Untersuchung des Laser-Ablationsprozesses auf Holzoberflächen

Russo, R.E.:
COLA '97. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Laser Ablation
Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1998 (Applied surface science 127/129)
ISSN: 0169-4332
S.787-792 : Ill., Lit.
International Conference on Laser Ablation (COLA) <4, 1997, Monterey Bay/Calif.>
Fraunhofer IWS ()
Holz; laser ablation process; Laserablationsprozeß; wood

Processing of wood by conventional mechanical tools like saws or planes leaves behind a layer of squeezed wood only slightly adhering to the solid wood surface. Laser ablation of this layer could improve the durability of coatings and glued joints. For technical applications, thorough knowledge about the laser ablation process is necessary. Results of ablation experiments by excimer lasers, Nd:YAG lasers, and TEA-CO2 lasers on surfaces of different wood types and cut orientations are shown. The process of ablation was observed by a high-speed camera system and optical spectroscopy. The influence of the experimental parameters are demonstrated by SEM images and measurement of the ablation rate depending on energy density. Thermal effects like melting and also carbonizing of cellulose were found for IR- and also UV-laser wavelengths. Damage of the wood surface after laser ablation was weaker for excimer lasers and CO2-TEA lasers. This can be explained by the high absorption of wood in th e ultraviolet and middle infrared spectral range. As an additional result, this technique provides an easy way for preparing wood surfaces with excellently conserved cellular structure.