Mercury-3

High speed ablation system

Mercury_3

Overview

The Mercury-3 is a custom design wire stripper for high speed vaporization of bonded insulations from wires. With a large 100x100 mm (4"x4") working area the machine is capable of the vast majority of laser stripping applications including all the features of a Mercury-2 with the addition of high speed ablation. As with our other systems the unit is simple to use, requires almost no maintenance and is flexible enough for all your laser stripping needs.

  • Industrial, sealed maintenance free laser technology 
  • Dual laser galvanometer scanners for stripping the wires from two sides to create a 360 degree strip around the wire
  • Large 100x100 mm (4" x 4") work area. Strip multiple cables held on a fixture plate for high productivity 
  • Dual axis motion (X & Y) to provide cross cuts, window strips, cross cuts and slits (for easy jacket removal) as well as area ablation. Any shapes (curves, hatched areas etc.) can be created
  • Runs from a standard 115 / 230 V electrical supply with no compressed air requirement

Application Range

Strip Types

The Mercury-2 dual axis optics allows flexible wire stripping:

Mercury-3_stripping_patterns

 
From top to bottom:
  • cross cut: laser separates the slug of insulation - Operator pulls off as a second operation
  • slit: laser makes a cross cut but also slits along the insulation to aid peeling off a long length. Especially used for cable jackets
  • window: like a slit, but two cross cuts are made to allow a window section of insulation to be removed - used especially for accessing the shield of a cable for attaching to the shield
  • area ablation: the laser passes back and forth over the wire multiple times to completely vaporize an area of insulation 

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Materials

All the Mercury systems are capable of stripping polymer insulations. All polymer insulations can be cut with the laser. The amount of melt, vaporization or chemical decomposition depends on the exact polymers used. Below is a non-exhaustive list of materials that can be stripped:

  • Fluoropolymers such as PTFE, ETFE, PFA
  • Polyethylene
  • Nylons
  • Silicone
  • PVC
  • Rubber

 

  • Mylar
  • Fiberglass
  • Polyurethane
  • Polyester
  • Polyethylene
 
 

Technical Data

Min. Outer Cable Diameter

0.025 mm (0.001")
Max. Outer Cable Diameter 5 mm (0.2")
Stripping Length Increments 0.1 mm (0.01")
Strip types Cross cuts, slits, windows, area ablation
Max. Stripping Length 100 mm (4")
Speed Up to 3000 mm/s (120"/s) 
Cable Loading Via fixture plate - up to 10 cables at once
Dimensions (L x W x H) 980 x 1140 x 485 mm (39 x 46 x 20")

More Info

The Laser Wire Solutions Mercury-3 strips wires and shielded cable ranging in size from 0.025 – 5 mm OD (0.001" – 0.2"). The laser is strongly absorbed by the wire/cable insulation causing it to melt or vaporize. By stripping from both sides automatically a slug of insulation can be separated from the main wire/cable insulation. The slug can be left on to keep the wire strands together, only being pulled off by the Operator immediately before termination. The Mercury-3 also allows the possibility to fully vaporize the wire insulation by passing the laser spot over the wire multiple times at high speed in a hatch pattern. This may not be suitable for all materials - but for bonded insulations it can be the best method for insulation removal. The laser light fully reflects from the wire conductor ensuring there can never be nicks or scrapes. In the case of shielded cables, the laser can be used to cut off the jacket, the laser light reflecting from the shield or aluminized foil. The shield needs to be reasonably complete (>80% coverage) in order to protect the inner wire insulation. 

The main applications are difficult to process insulations and wires where a mechanical blade could cause damage. Examples include removing the jackets from shielded multiconductor cables, removing the jackets and dielectrics from high performance microwave cables, cutting the aluminized mylar foils of twin-ax cables etc. However, the Mercury-3 is most suited when an area of insulation has to be vaporized (e.g. bonded insulation). 

The strip patterns and laser settings are programmed via a laptop with a graphical user interface. The strip patterns are then stored in the machine in non-volatile memory so there is no need for a PC on the shop floor. The machines user interface allows hundreds of patterns to be stored, each with a unique ID and the Operator can call up the ID using the machine keypad.

Mercury-3 begins the stripping process when the Operator starts the process via the footswitch.

The wires/cables are held in position via a configurable fixture plate. Up to ten wires/ cables can be stripped as part of one operation. A standard fixture plate is supplied, but if required a custom plate can be designed for your requirement.