Aerospace Fiber Lasers Continue to Exceed Expectations


A-Laser enters the aerospace world with fiber lasers that continue to exceed performance expectations.  The modern aerospace industry has requirements for millions of holes per turbine engine for adequate cooling during operation.  These holes must vary in thickness, angles, diameters, and geometries. The new class of fiber lasers are a faster, more versatile, more consistent and cost-effective tool. 

What is fiber laser technology?

Fiber lasers have become the laser of choice in the technology world in a wide range of industries.  These lasers entered the market with ever-increasing average and peak powers. Fiber lasers continue to offer users improvement in electric wall outlet efficiency, beam brightness, and temporal parameter variation.

They also allow for no requirement in warm-up in products and increase beam brightness in single mode or low-order operation. One area that has remained untouched due to the necessary complicated processes, however, is the drilling of cooling holes for turbine engine components.  With fiber lasers, the aerospace field that requires these turbine components has opened up.

Percussion drilling and trepanning are the two techniques utilized to produce these cooling holes.  Percussion and trepanning are both laser processes that make it possible to drill small and precise holes at multiple angles and in a wide variety of materials.

Percussion drilling delivers one or more pulses while the laser beam and part are stationary.  More than one pulse may be necessary depending on the desired hole depth.

Trepanning is another form of laser drilling.  In trepanning, the part is held stationary and the beam is moved.  As metal thickness increases, the range of diameters is best suited for trepanning.  In general, producing a trepanned hole is slower, but produces better symmetry than a percussion-drilled hole.

airplane propeller

What are the benefits of fiber lasers in aerospace?

  • A perfect square wave is produced
  • Meets recast and micro-craft specifications
  • One pulse drilling
  • Limited back wall damage
  • Controls pulse duration at break-through
  • Produces top-hat profile spot
  • Less energy required in pulse
  • Focus not changed with power
  • Agility in changing levels and pulse durations
  • Ideal for cutting thick details and at high speeds

Fiber Laser Technology & the Future

Fiber lasers are ideal in aerospace technology with their ease of integration.  The energy delivered allows the retrofit to a new or existing work cell to be easily completed. Aerospace companies can meet the accuracy demands of production drilling of components in a groundbreaking and efficient way. Fiber lasers offer the aerospace industry an exciting new tool that expertly handles hole drilling in cooling turbines.

The result is faster speed, higher quality, and more consistent holes.  Fiber laser drilling reduces cost and offers the industry the capability to consider geometries and outcomes not possible with previous lasers. A substantial growth in the use of fiber lasers will continue as the aerospace industry fully embraces this revolutionary technology.