Laser Drilling

The collimation of light (photons) used to impart energy on a vast array of materials to drill challenging holes. The laser system, coupled to a 5-axis CNC motion control system, becomes a robust drilling machine tool. EBTEC’s Laser drilling systems are used to produce complex through-hole drilling in customer components across multiple industries.

“LASER – light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”

About Laser Drilling

Laser Drilling is a process that can be used to drill alloys and composites that cannot be drilled by conventional methods. In many cases, Laser Drilling is the only solution for many drilling challenges.

The laser drilling process consists of repeatedly pulsing high peak power, highly focused laser energy at a material, which locally turn the materials into vapor in an iterative process, until a thru-hole is created.

This laser drilling process is called percussion laser drilling and is utilized for creation of small holes. Small laser drilled holes, in the .002”-.003” range, are possible depending upon material type and thickness. Changes in lensing allows for percussion drilling of larger holes…up to a limit. Significantly larger laser holes are created by trepanning (moving the work piece or the laser in a circular fashion). The trepanning laser drilling process is more analogous to laser cutting as the same principles are applied. (Please see our laser cutting page via the button below).

The Value of Laser Drilling

Benefits of Laser Drilling Services:

  • Processing of high-alloy metals without difficulty
  • Low tool cost, no tool wear
  • Drills angled holes and difficult access holes
  • Economic setup time
  • High repeatability with multi-axis CNC laser control
  • Faster than any conventional method
  • Ability to drill holes smaller than conventional methods allow
  • Creating entrance angles not possible with contact machining
  • Minimal mechanical force on workpiece
  • Low dimensional variability
  • Low distortion
  • Cost Competitive

 

Limitations of Laser Drilling Services:

  • Laser holes are tapered to some extent (approximately 1% of the drill depth)
  • Cannot drill a blind hole to a precise depth
  • Adherent metal needs to be removed from exit hole on some materials
  • Depth to width ratio – very deep holes are difficult to drill
  • Materials reflectivity eliminates “some” materials from process

The Laser Drilling Process

YAG Laser Percussion Drill Penetration

The LASER, an acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation,” is a device that produces a concentrated, coherent beam of light by stimulating molecular or electronic transitions to lower energy levels, causing the emission of photons. In the laser hole drilling process, the solid-state laser utilizes a single crystal rod with parallel, flat ends, with each end having reflective surfaces. A high-intensity light source, or flash tube, surrounds the crystal. When power is supplied by the PFN (pulse-forming network), an intense pulse of light (photons) will be released through one end of the crystal rod. The light being released is of single wavelength, thus allowing for minimum divergence.

How it Works

In Laser Drilling, 100% of the laser light will be reflected off the rear mirror, and 30 to 50% will pass through the front mirror. The laser light will continue through the shutter assembly to the angled mirror and down through the focusing lens to the workpiece. The laser light beam in our laser hole drilling process is coherent and has a high energy content. When focused on a surface, laser light creates the heat used for laser hole drilling.

The workpiece and the laser beam are manipulated by means of robotics. The laser beam can be adjusted to varying sizes and heat intensity, from .004 to .040 inches. The smaller size is used for drilling, and the larger for heat treating.

Laser Equipment

IPG Photonics – 1 kw

Aerotech A3200 6-Axis Control
Ytterbium Fiber Laser
Scanner Capable
CNC Parameter Control

X-Axis12″
Y-Axis12″
Z-Axis20″
Rotary10″

Lasag

Tri Sigma 8352 Control
500 watt Nd:YAG
Integrated Scanner

X-Axis12″
Y-Axis12″
Z-Axis18″

Lumonics

Bandit 1 6-Axis Control
Model J-K MS330
350 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis12″
Y-Axis12″
Z-Axis18″

Raytheon SS500 (501-2)

Aerotech U620 6-Axis Control
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis52″
Y-Axis36″
Z-Axis24″
Tilt Rotary12″

Aurora P50

Aerotech U620 6-Axis Control
250 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis36″
Y-Axis36″
Z-Axis24″
Tilt Rotary12″

Raytheon SS500 (501-6)

Aerotech U620 6-Axis Control
Integrated Scanner

X-Axis24″
Y-Axis16″
Z-Axis12″

Raytheon SS500 (550-1)

Aerotech U620 6-Axis Control
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis70″
Y-Axis34″
Z-Axis34″
Tilt Rotary20″

Raytheon SS500 (550-2)

Aerotech U620 6-Axis Control
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis69″
Y-Axis36″
Z-Axis18″
Tilt Rotary12″

Raytheon SS500 (501-5)

Aerotech U620 6-Axis Control
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis24″
Y-Axis18″
Z-Axis10″
Tilt Rotary12″

Lumonics

Aerotech U16 6-Axis Control
Model J-K MS830
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis24″
Y-Axis16″
Z-Axis4″
Rotary Chuck – 4

Control CLC-480 (480-1)

Allen Bradley 8200 6-Axis Control
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis24″
Y-Axis18″
Z-Axis18″
Tilt Rotary8″

LaserDyne 790

6-Axis Control
Aurora P-50 power supply
250 watt Nd:YAG
Integrated 5-Axis Wrist

X-Axis80″
Y-Axis32″
Z-Axis40″
Tilt Rotary25″

Raytheon SS500 (501-4)

Aerotech U16 6-Axis Control
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis36″
Y-Axis36″
Z-Axis24″
Tilt Rotary20″

Raytheon SS500 (501-3)

Aerotech U16 3-Axis Control
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis14″
Y-Axis20″
Z-Axis12″
Tilt Rotary10’’

Control CLC-480 (480-2)

Aerotech U16 6-Axis Control
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis29″
Y-Axis36″
Z-Axis22″
Tilt Rotary20″

Raytheon SS500 (501-1)

Aerotech U620 6-Axis Control
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis70″
Y-Axis34″
Z-Axis32″
Tilt Rotary18″

Raytheon SS550 (550-3)

Aerotech U620 6-Axis Control
400 watt Nd:YAG

X-Axis24″
Y-Axis24″
Z-Axis12″
Rotary4″