Laser Wire Stripping Is Ideal for Removing Insulation or Shielding

Wire stripping removes sections of insulation or shielding from wires and cables to provide electrical contact points for termination.

Conventional wire-stripping methods make contact with the conductor and can create nicks or otherwise damage the wire, slow down processing speed, or lead to inconsistent quality and rework.

In contrast, laser wire stripping is a much faster process that provides excellent precision and process control and does not make contact with the wire, allowing for the processing of delicate wire gauges up to 46 AWG (0.0015 inches in diameter). With the right combination of laser type, wavelength, and beam shaping, insulation can be stripped through ablation with no damage to the wire and without leaving a heat-affected zone (HAZ) or residue that must be cleaned and removed.

Unlike with other methods, virtually all insulation types can be removed with laser wire stripping. Because we precisely program the beam pattern, a variety of cable cross-sections can be stripped, including O-, T-, H-shaped wires that cannot be stripped with mechanical or thermal processes. In addition, real-time inspection monitoring and automated handling allow us to deliver higher volumes of product at cost-effective rates.

Laser-Stripping Services

Our laser systems process a variety of wire and cable shapes and sizes, up to 46 AWG (0.0015 inches in diameter). Stripping can be programmed to remove insulation at any point along the wire, enabling high-precision mid-span removals. We can process 99% of all insulation types—common materials include fluoropolymers, nylon, polyethylene, polyimide, nylon, and silicone coatings.

Other advantages of our wire-stripping systems include:

  • Reel-to-reel processing
  • Reel-to-cut processing
  • Customized strip patterns
  • Strip multi-conductor wires simultaneously
  • Sensitive materials such as Nitinol
  • Tight tolerances (+/- 0.001 inch)
  • Little or no HAZ
  • Low electromagnetic interference
  • Custom machine configuration
  • No post-stripping cleaning required

High-Precision Applications Abound

As microelectronics and life-sciences/medical devices and instrumentation become smaller and more complex, with advanced materials and “smart” applications, wire stripping must achieve precise specifications and tight tolerances for top performance. High-precision applications include:

  • Catheter wiring
  • Pacemaker electrodes
  • Motors and transformers
  • High-performance windings
  • Hypodermic tubing coatings
  • Micro-coaxial cables
  • Thermocouples
  • Stimulation electrodes
  • Bonded enamel wiring
  • High-performance data cables

Case Study: A global, top-tier tubing manufacturer recently teamed up with Laser Light Technologies to remove, through laser wire stripping, coatings from extremely fine wire for a medical application. The company produces innovative, high-performance medical and surgical tubing from a variety of materials, which provide superior mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties with tighter tolerances compared to conventionally extruded plastic tubing.

When its previous vendor could not keep up with its production demands, the company partnered with Laser Light Technologies to perform high-precision removal of insulative coating from delicate wires > 0.0095 inches in diameter. To meet production requirements, the Laser Light engineering team built a customized, automated system to advance wire with sub-0.01-inch accuracy, laser-ablate the material to be removed, and perform quality checks, all while improving quality, shortening time to market, and reducing overall production costs.

Three Decades of Experience

Laser Light Technologies has more than 30 years of experience laser-manufacturing high-precision products for the medical device, life sciences, and microelectronics industries. As new products in these fields become smaller and more complex, so does the circuitry. Manufacturers are using thinner wires made from a wider range of metals, advanced insulation materials and patterns for wires and shielding, and more complicated configurations and assemblies. This increases the importance of maintaining the highest-precision cuts, tight tolerances, and inspections to ensure performance and quality.

Our highly experienced engineers, technicians, and staff can wire-strip virtually any type of insulation or shielding to meet your most challenging production or assembly needs—including complex wire geometries for miniaturized components. Contact us today at 800-459-4455 or