Laser ablation is a process that product manufacturers may wish to consider when looking to remove unwanted materials from a part’s surface or when they wish to control solder flow on a PCB — typically so excess solder does not travel where it’s not supposed to and cause electrical shorting. For cleaning a surface the technology that laser ablation typically replaces is chemical milling. For controlling solder flow, the replaced technology is typically solder dams.
Compared to these rival technologies, laser ablation is almost always cleaner, more environmentally friendly and more precisely controllable. To see why, download the full tech brief.