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Polyester ribbon cable development

15 July 2008

Ribbon cable is commonly used in the computer and electronics industry to transmit multiple bits of data in parallel between other cards or peripheral devices. One type of ribbon cable is comprised of multiple copper conductors encased between two sheets of 1mm thick polyester film. Polyester film (Mylar) has excellent dielectric properties and is an effective insulator in electrical applications.

Depending on the width of the data bus required (8, 16, or 32 bit) this ribbon cable, with an assembled thickness of 0.44 mm (0.0175"), is cut lengthwise to create one or more groups of eight conductors. The beam delivery set-up consists of a cutting head equipped with a 63.5 mm (2.5") positive meniscus lens that provides a 100-micron (0.004") spot with a 1.8 mm (0.07") depth of focus. Using 10 watts of laser power and a 20-PSI air assist, lengthwise cuts can be made between groups of conductors at a line speed of 500 inches per minute. The resulting cut edge is exceptionally smooth with no dross or discoloration present.

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