Laser Machining Technology Seminar: Laser Applications and Research for the Industry & Laser Micro-Machining Consortium

Date: 25 May 2010 - 25 May 2010

Venue: SIMTech Seminar Room, Valley Block

Precision engineering manufacturing is becoming intensely competitive and manufacturers are expected to add value to their products in order to increase their competitive edge. In this seminar, SIMTech researchers will be making concise presentations to update the industry on their research in laser processing of materials. Participants will gain a better understanding of four different laser applications (viz. surface hardening, micro-machining, surface texturing and marking, processing of electronic and microelectronic materials) and the relevance of these technologies in the manufacture of high-value products such as those for the medical technology, aerospace and microelectronics industry.

SIMTech proposes a consortium project to develop a better understanding of certain laser processing issues which are of concern to local SMEs. One of the proposed areas is related to laser micro-machining. A roundtable discussion is included in the seminar programme to identify the initial scope to be delivered in this project. 

For a copy of the pamphlet, please click here.

10:00 am   Registration
10:30 am   Opening
10:35 am   Update on laser machining research at SIMTech by Dr Zheng Hongyu
10:45 am   Technology updates 
                 - Surface hardening by Dr Lim Gnian Cher
                 - Micro-machining by Dr Gary Ng Kar Lai
                 - Surface texturing and marking by Dr Li Zhongli
                 - Processing of electronic and microelectronic materials by Dr Wang Xingcai
11:45 am   Roundtable discussion on consortium project
12:00 pm   Lunch & networking
1.00pm      End

Surface hardening:
Many engineering applications require that the workpiece surface be hard and strong for wear resistance while the interior remains soft and ductile to retain its original flexibility and toughness properties. Laser surface hardening is a thermal transformation process whereby a laser beam is used to raise the surface temperature of the area to be hardened to the austenitic point. On removal of the laser beam, rapid self-quenching through heat conduction into the bulk of the substrate results in locking the austenitic microstructure into a martensitic form which is much harder than the original substrate.

There is increasing demand for smaller and complex geometries from the industry. The use of laser technology in micromachining offers distinct advantages over conventional processes. A wide array of lasers is available on the market, and it is often bewildering for a novice to choose the right laser for their applications. This seminar will provide an update on the latest technology in the area of laser micromachining.

Surface texturing and marking:
It has been demonstrated that surface texturing and marking have many applications in industry. Amongst all surface texturing and marking technologies, laser offers the most promising concept, because laser is extremely fast and allows short processing times. Laser is a unique tool in which the applied energy can be deposited precisely on where it is needed and can be performed on a wide variety of materials. The talk will give a brief introduction on applications of laser surface texturing and marking, and research activities in SIMTech.

Processing of electronic and microelectronic materials: Laser processing is widely applied in semiconductor front-end, back-end processes, advanced packaging, flat panel display production and solar cell fabrication. Laser processing is integral to mass production of microelectronics. In this talk, we will update the industry on SIMTech’s recent development and capabilities in laser processing of electronic/microelectronic material substrates. It will cover laser cutting PCB substrates, laser drilling/cutting alumina ceramics substrates, and laser surface texturing of silicon. 

Team Members
Dr Zheng Hongyu gained his BEng in Mechanical Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, in 1985 and PhD in Laser Materials Processing from Imperial College, London, in 1990. Since then he has been working in areas of laser microprocessing. Dr Zheng is currently the Group Manager of the Machining Technology Group of SIMTech.

Dr Lim Gnian Cher is a Principal Research Scientist at SIMTech. After graduating from Imperial College, London, he joined the machine tools industry in developing laser applications that include processes and optics in the areas of sheet metal cutting, surface transformation hardening, and welding. He joined SIMTech in 1995 and continues to focus his research in the related areas and on the machining of hard-to-machine materials. 

Dr Ng Ka Lai, Gary is an Associate Research Scientist at SIMTech. He received his PhD from The University of Manchester, UK, in laser drilling. He has worked in The Welding Institute, with emphasis on laser welding and direct metal deposition of aerospace alloys. Since joining SIMTech in 2006, his research interests are primarily in laser processing of materials.

Dr Li Zhongli is an Associate Research Scientist at SIMTech. She obtained her PhD from The Australian National University. Her research interests are laser surface treatment and texturing, laser micromachining, laser sintering and laser-material interaction. Currently, she is a project leader on investigating laser surface treatments for desirable surface properties. 

Dr Wang Xincai is an Associate Research Scientist at SIMTech. He received his BEng. and MEng from Tsinghua University, Beijing, and PhD degree from NUS. His research interest is on laser micromachining and processing. His past R&D activities cover III-V semiconductor materials, laser processing of GaN, laser semiconductor annealing, laser drilling/cutting of polymer composites, PCBs, alumina ceramic and Si substrates, and laser micro/nano texturing of Si and polymer materials.

Who Should Attend
Industry professionals including managers and engineers involved in applications of laser machining.

Registration for the seminar is free of charge. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  
For technical enquiries: Dr G C Lim, Principal Scientist, Email:; Tel: 6793 8489 
For general enquiries and confirmation of registration: Alice Koh, Email:; Tel: 6793 8249