Laser Machining

The process uses a highly coherent, focused beam of light as its drill bit. Because there is no mechanical contact with the part at the point of drilling, there is no tool wear, bit breakage, excessive part heating or chips produced. The laser accomplishes this by heating the metal to above its melting point. The metal that is vaporized then expels the molten metal from the hole. This action, coupled with the short pulse duration (typically 1 milli-second or less), reduces parent metal heating to almost nothing. This typically reduces heat affected zones to 0.005" or less. Depending on the rate of application of the energy and the area, heating occurs which if gradual can be used for heat treating. If more intense, it can be used to melt and weld material, and when even more intense, can be used to evaporate and ablate it to create holes. KEYWORDS for this process: hole popping, excimer

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