Controlled Precision With Laser Drilling

As the space age progresses into the realms of innovation never thought possible a relatively few years ago, so the demand increases for even greater controlled precision in all aspects from equipment and personnel. From the introduction of “Star wars”, the concept of laser technology has fired the imagination and inspiration of the average person, but scientists have made it a reality.

From aerospace to the automotive industries, Laser USA has taken their high technology leadership across the globe. Their expertise is acknowledged within the fields related to medical, biotechnology, defense and MEMS. This is supported by an ability to provide extremely flexible manufacturing technology, has enabled them to adapt to the production needs of their customers. The dedication to providing solution for varied applications has resulted in the establishing of a mutual basis of trust with primary leading organizations in many and varied technologies worldwide.

The Laser Drilling Factor

The technique of a laser enables it to be used in the machining of significantly small, blind and extraordinary shaped holes that require precise tapering. This operation is enhanced by the drilling of holes at excessive angles, and the processing of materials that are machine demanding. Labor intensity is reduced by this laser technology, due to its capabilities in enabling one setting-up, to produce literally hundreds of different sizes over a three dimensional surface. Generally, the type of material is not a challenge to the laser process; a variety of metals to coated metal materials, some ceramics and graphic composites are all dealt with.

The laser capability is created by isolated pulses, with regulation of their energy output, power peaking and temporal shape. The interaction with a material is determined by the parameters of the pulse energy and peak power. The shaping of a pulse is defined as programming its temporal profile. This is achieved by the separating of a long-drilling pulse, into a determined number of shorter segments. This process enables the improving of quality with an increase in speed of operation.

Percussion Drilling

The term percussion drilling describes a system that permits a significant increase in the speed of drilling a hole. It is a technique advocated by Laser USA in work related to rounded turbine engine parts. The process utilizes signals received from the motion systems encoders, which initiate the laser at determined regularly spaced locations on the operable part. This type of laser drilling entails adjusting the focus spot size. There is not a related motion between the beam of the laser and operable part during the drilling procedure.

Using this method, it is possible for the drilling of holes with a laser, in a diameter range of 25µm to 1000µm. However, the limitations vary according to the form of the material, but it is generally recognized that most holes drilled by the percussion process are within a diameter range of 300µm to 600µm. A particular advantage with percussion drilling is an ability to improve the interaction between the material and the laser beam. This in turn influences the control of the taper and an improvement in the speed of drilling.

Author Bio: Elissa Joyce is a laser specialist taking a sabbatical from work to undertake his Masters degree in lasers and their use in medicine.

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