Mercury-4

The Ultimate Laser Wire Stripper

 

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Overview

The Mercury-4 is the culmination of years of research into laser stripping of wires and cables. Optimized in every way for your production needs - it boasts a host of features:

  • Lowest cost model available - opens up a massive range of applications
  • Lowest footprint model on the market - use from a sitting position with space for other tools and parts
  • Highly flexible - cross cuts, slits, windows AND area ablation
  • Configurable usage - single port operation for highest productivity OR mini-fixture for complex cables
  • 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
  • Compact 50x50 mm (2" x 2") work area for stripping single wires / cables at a time. Strip multiple inner conductors held on a mini-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-4 dual axis optics allows flexible wire stripping:

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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 (preliminary)

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 75 mm (3")
Speed Up to 3000 mm/s (120"/s) 
Cable Loading

Either single cable port or using a

mini-fixture plate for holding complex cables

Dimensions (L x W x H) 150 x 400 x 500 mm (6 x 16 x 20")

More Info

The Laser Wire Solutions Mercury-4 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-4 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 or removal of bonded insulations. 

For standard stripping - the simple touchscreen interface allows a strip pattern (laser power, speed and position) to be set up with a few clicks. There is no need to program individual laser moves. For the most complex strip patterns (curves, circles, text etc) - the on board graphical user interface can be used to create a specific strip pattern. All patterns are saved on the system with a unique ID.

Mercury-4 begins the stripping process when the Operator starts the process via the touchscreen or optional footswitch.

For most applications - the wire/cable is introduced through a single port, pushing the cable to a reference back stop. The strip position is programmed as part of the strip pattern. For more complex cables (e.g. multiple inner wires of a multi-conductor), the machine can be instantly reconfigured to use a mini-fixture plate that can be designed for your exact cable. This allows multiple wires to be stripped simultaneously and Mercury-4's non-linear stripping (curves) allow the strip to follow the fanned shape of inner wires if required.