What is Laser Drilling?

Laser drilling is one of the main applications, which the SPI Lasers range are equipped to deliver. In this latest question and answer, we provide an explanation as to what this application is. Laser drilling is used across many industries and there are an innumerable number of drilling techniques which can be applied for drilling different sizes and dimensions of holes.

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Laser drilling of small components

Laser drilling: a working definition

The following text is taken from our definition article about laser drilling:

“Laser drilling, as the name might suggest, is the process of drilling into a material using a laser. It differs from conventional twist drills in that it is a non-contact process, meaning the laser doesn’t physically touch the material that it is working with.

Instead, the laser beam is focused repeatedly onto a specific area, vaporising and melting it layer by layer until holes are created. These holes will vary in diameter and depth, with some holes being thru-holes, while others are created only part of the way down into a material.

A brief overview of the laser drilling process

Just one fiber laser is capable of working in many different working environments and can deliver a wide range of drilled holes of many shapes and sizes. These drilled holes can be applied across many materials including metals, plastics, ceramics and carbon compounds to name but a few.

To drill a hole, the particular area being drilled is focused upon by the laser beam. The size of the focus spot will be precisely calculated to make a hole of the exact size needed. As the laser beam is applied, the material melts and vaporises causing a mess free drill hole, the beam is applied until the sufficient drill depth is achieved, this may be through holes or only part of the way through the material.

The four main types of laser drilling

There are four main types of laser drilling, which are:

  • Helical laser drilling
  • Percussion laser drilling
  • Single-shot laser drilling
  • Trepan laser drilling

A full definition for each of the above can be found in our article “The Various Types, Techniques & Processes of Laser Drilling”.

Related Reading

Also, read the following articles to learn more about laser drilling:

Contacting SPI about laser drilling

To find out more about how laser drilling could help your organisation, contact SPI Lasers by calling us on +44(0)1489 779 696, or email us at sales@spilasers.com. We have a range of pulsed and continuous wave fiber lasers, which can be personally tailored to the specific needs of your organisation.

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