Laser drilling is the process of repeatedly pulsing focused laser energy at a material, vaporizing layer after layer until the desired depth is achieved.
The ANV Laser team has extensive experience in laser drilling, with the know-how to precisely control all the parameters that are critical to achieving precise and predictable hole drilling results the quality of the laser beam, wavelength, intensity, pulse duration, and pulse repetition rate.
ANV Laser Drilling Services
- Production of precision through-holes and blind holes with diameters of 20 microns to several millimeters, depending on material type and thickness
- Single pulse drilling up to 200 holes per second
- Trepanning and percussion drilling with roundness tolerances of several microns
- Applications: fuel injectors, filter elements, medical needles, screens, etc.
Laser Drilling Advantages
Laser drilling is one of the oldest applications of laser machining processes. Its advantages include:
- As a non-contact technique, it prevents contamination of the workpiece and reduces wear of the drilling part (compared to other drilling techniques).
- It has come to be accepted as the drilling methodology of choice for producing high aspect ratio holes.
- High, repeatable accuracy: with laser drilling, every production piece is 100% perfect every time.
- Well-suited to produce holes at shallow angles (as small as 10°) to the workpiece surface.
- Choosing the appropriate wavelength and power density of the laser beam, it can be used to drill a wide range of materials such as stainless steel, nickel alloys, titanium alloys, aluminum alloys, copper alloys, brass, ceramics, etc.
- Fast, accurate, flexible and automated, laser drilling is especially cost-effective for prototyping and small production batches.
Different Laser Drilling Techniques
Through-holes, also referred to as “popped” holes, or blind holes of a specified depth are created by singly or repeatedly pulsing focused laser energy on the material. Blind holes, for example, are often used for selective roughening of surfaces for gluing and coating processes.
The diameter of these holes can be as small as 10 microns (0.002”). The process will differ depending on the material thickness, the number of holes to be created and the size (width and depth) of the holes.
Single-shot and Percussion Drilling
Single-shot laser drilling uses a single laser pulse with comparatively high pulse energy to produce the hole. The single-shot method can create a large number of holes extremely quickly.
Percussion drilling is used to produce deeper, more precise and smaller holes, using multiple short-duration, low-energy laser pulses.
Pulse drilling of blind holes with a depth of some microns is used, for example, for selective roughening of surfaces for gluing and coating processes.
If larger holes are required, the trepanning technique is used. Trepanning is essentially a percussion drilling process followed by a cutting procedure. A pilot hole is first created using percussion drilling. Then the laser enlarges the pilot hole, moving over the workpiece in a series of increasingly larger circles. Most of the molten material is expelled downward through the hole.