Principle of laser drilling

Drilling with pulsed lasers is a thermal processing technique. As a result
of the high energy depth, the strongly focused beam melts and evaporates the
material. As an outcome of the resulting steam pressure, particles are flung
from the drill hole.

Only pulsed lasers achieve the performance and energy depths required for
this. Depending on the hole diameter, the material strength, the quality
requirements, as well as processing speed, there is a choice of three laser
drilling methods.

Single pulse drills
This method permits the greatest flow-rate and the highest processing speed.
Each laser pulse creates a hole. The maximum frequency / repeat rate
determines the throughput and the efficiency. Depending on the material and
its strength, it is possible to achieve over 1000 drillings per second.
Percussion holes
Depending on the material, this method is used for hole diameters of 20 –
1200 µm. Aspect ratios (diameter / hole depth) of up to approx. 1:200.
Depending on the material, hole depths of up to 40mm can be achieved.

If the hole diameter is significantly larger than the focus, it is
trepanned, in other words, the hole is cut out. This can be achieved by
either a rotating optic or by moving the work piece. Depending on the
material, depths of up to 25mm can be trepanned.

The following materials can be drilled:

  • High alloyed steels, stainless steel
  • Precious and non-ferrous metals such as gold, silver, titanium, platinum,
  • aluminum
  • Tungsten and molybdenum
  • Ceramics such as aluminum oxide, zirconium oxide, and aluminum nitrite
  • Carbide, polycrystalline diamond (PCD), and boron nitride (CBN)
  • Crystals such as sapphire and ruby
  • Semi-conductors such as silicon

If you would like to have sample parts processed in our Application
Laboratory, we would be happy for you to contact our Sales department.

For questions on applications or problems, our Application Laboratory is
happy to help you.