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The removal of a layer of material via laser processing is ablation. CO2 laser wavelengths are absorbed more efficiently by certain materials, and used selectively to remove one material from the surface of another. Ablation includes removing plastic coatings, ink, paint, or thin films from other substrates. The advantage of laser ablation over other mechanical or chemical methods - lasers can target only the material to be removed, the material removed is vaporized leaving little waste material to clean up, and operating costs are significantly lower with no equipment to wear down or consumables to replace.

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