LASER DRILLING PROCESS
Laser drilling process is the best known of the non-contact material removal technologies.
Among the various existing types of Lasers, the Nd:YAG Laser and the Fiber Laser are the currently most popular and have slowly replaced the CO2 Laser because of source performance.
These technologies can be included in the so-called “solid-state” lasers, because they use an artificially modified crystalline solid with ions from other crystals as the active medium of light excitation.
The light source is produced by a stroboscopic lamp which in the YAG is transmitted through a system of mirrors to be conveyed to the end nozzle. Dealing with Fiber Laser, this task is performed by the fiber optic wiring.
The Laser process allows high-precision and very high-speed drilling of metals due to the peculiar characteristic of working with pulses and percussion.
If the light is continuous, it allows machining of materials up to 5/6 mm thick without geometric alterations of the profiles, usually due to the laser focus with regard to the exit nozzle.
- Particularly efficient for multiple micro-drilling, in the range of thousands of holes, from a minimum diameter of 0.2mm
- Easily removable machining residue
- Absence of cutting forces
- Absence of tools and other means of material removal
- Easy access to the work area and minimal space requirements compared to conventional chip removal
- Machining does not depend on the mechanical properties of the material (e.g.hardness, tensile strength) and it allows processing of very hard materials that are difficult to machine by chip removal
YAG technology is widely used in the medical field, particularly ophthalmic and dental: with powers up to 25W it is used for local treatment of muscle inflammation and in other areas of physiotherapy.
From 300W to 500W its use is specifically for industry, metalworking or metal marking.
The Laser Drilling process is particularly used for drilling the rotor and stator parts of nozzles and turbine blades, both Energy and Aerospace, which have the characteristic of being rich in cooling microperforations on the surface.