Drilling was one of the first material machining processes to use lasers. A first industrial application was the drilling of watch jewels. The laser enables micro-drilling in a wide range of shapes and in almost any material. Whether circular or elliptical, square or star-shaped, there are almost no limits to the shapes of the drilled holes.
In addition to the wide range of possibilities, the high accuracy and repeatability as well as the enormous speed, laser drilling has another key benefit: The laser works almost wear-free.
Laser drilling is a non-machining process in which the material is heated, melted and vaporized. The process gas blows the removed material out of the hole.
Pulsed lasers are often used. Their energy input can be precisely regulated. In addition to a wide range of shapes, boreholes with different depths can also be produced. This allows through-holes or blind holes with diameters of less than 5 µm, whose conicity can also be controlled by appropriate laser parameters.
Up to 1,000 drill holes per second even in hard-to-reach positions
Up to 5 µm hole diameter
No need for post-treatment
Depending on the intended drilling depth, the conicity of the hole and the processing speed, a difference can be made between the following processes for laser drilling.
With our laser systems and our contract manufacturing, we can offer you the following processes:
Single pulse process
Of course, we will advise you selecting the optimal process to realize laser drillings according to your requirements.
In the single pulse process, the laser drills a through or blind hole with only a single laser pulse. The walls of the resulting hole are usually characterized by a conical geometry.
Because this process requires high pulse energy, it is primarily used when drilling a large number of holes in thin materials.
Typical products whose holes are drilled using this process are filter or vent elements.
The percussion process does not drill a hole with one laser pulse. Instead, several laser pulses hit the same position of the component in sequence. The high pulse rate melts and vaporizes the material layer by layer.
The percussion process allows higher aspect ratios, which means very deep holes with very small diameters. In addition, the conicity can be defined very precisely and harder materials can also be processed. However, the process is associated with longer processing times. Percussion drilling is used for nozzle holes for example.
Trepanning drilling is actually a combination of drilling and cutting. Depending on the material and material thickness, a single drill hole is first created using the single pulse or percussion method. The target diameter is then achieved by laser cutting. Depending on the relative movement between the laser beam and the workpiece, a wide range of drilling geometries is possible. Furthermore, trepanning drilling allows different conicities up to parallel drill walls.
Thanks to the process gas, the melted material is blown out through the exit side of the hole.