Laser Drilling

Our Service

Laser radiation can be used to produce holes with diameters ranging from less than one micrometer to several millimeters while achieving large drilling depths simultaneously. Fraunhofer ILT develops and improves various drilling processes for industrial use. Areas of application are diverse and include aerospace, toolmaking and tool technology, the automotive industry, electronics and display technology, as well as medical and energy technology.

Drilling with laser radiation is used as a manufacturing technology for complex geometries and materials. With helical drilling and ultra-short pulsed lasers hole diameters in the range of a few 10 μm at drilling depths of up to 2 mm cam be produced. Large hole diameters above 100 µm can be produced with QCW lasers using (5-axis) trepanning. This also enables the creation of three-dimensional shaped holes. Novel laser drilling processes with drilling rates of up to 12,000 holes/s are also available for applications in filter and sieve technology or coating masks. For the structuring of dielectric materials such as glass, sapphire and other difficult-to-machine materials, combined processes are used in which structures with nanometer precision, even in volume, can be produced via material modification and subsequent etching steps.

Fraunhofer ILT develops manufacturing processes and production systems that are customized to the respective tasks. The range of services includes market-oriented R&D services in the field of laser beam drilling, market and feasibility studies, support in the areas of design and simulation and comprehensive consulting.

 Fused silica with a slit, made by processing with inverse laser drilling; thickness: 6.35 mm, angle of the undercut: approx. 10°.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Fused silica with a slit, made by processing with inverse laser drilling; thickness: 6.35 mm, angle of the undercut: approx. 10°.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Formed hole in a CFRP preform for functional elements.
Laser-drilled coupling element.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Laser-drilled coupling element.

Process development

  • Single pulse drilling (especially on-the-fly)
  • Percussion drilling
  • (5-axis) trepanning
  • Helical drilling
  • Ultra-short pulse laser drilling
  • Water jet guided laser drilling (Laser Micro Jet)

Materials

  • Single crystals, directionally solidified materials, metals, multilayer systems, ceramics, metallic foams, plastics, silicon
  • Intermetallic alloys, fiber reinforced composites such as CFRP, CMCs and MMCs

Applications

  • Cooling air holes, vent holes, lubricant holes, filter holes, measuring holes
  • Turbine components (turbine blades, guide vanes, combustion chambers), filters, vias, injectors, atomizers, tooling, tool making

Equipment

  • QCW single- and multimode fiber lasers up to 20 kW pulse peak power
  • USP beam sources with average power up to 400 W
  • Various pico- and nanosecond pulsed beam sources with wavelengths from 355 to 1064 nm
  • 200 ns beam source with 100 W power for the Laser Micro Jet

Brochures, Flyer and Press Releases

Our brochures offer a quick view onto the service portfolio “Laser Drilling“. Find more detailed information in the “project results“ tab.

 

“Laser Beam Drilling“

 

“Processing Glas with Laser Radiation“

Press Release

Press Release Fraunhofer ILT from March 13, 2019: “12,000 holes per second with 1 µm diameter”

 

“Selective Laser Etching of Glass and Sapphire“

Branches

Laser technology can solve demanding tasks in many different industries. Whether as a tool in automotive production, as measuring equipment in the environmental sector, as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument in medical technology or as a communication medium in space technology, the laser provides multiple uses with high productivity and high efficiency.

Read up about the innovations of the Fraunhofer ILT in a few selected industries and convince yourself!

Publications

He, C, Weber, M., Gillner A.:
Recast-Free Helical Drilling of Fused Silica Using SHG Picosecond Laser Pulses.
Journal of Laser Micro/Nanoengineering 15(2), 153-168,(2020)
https://doi.org/10.2961/jlmn.2020.02.2014

He,C., Weber, M., Gillner, A.:
Recast-free helical drilling of fused silica using SHG picosecond laser pulses.
LPM2020 – the 21st International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication, 23-26 June 2020. Proceedings of LPM2020 (2020)

He, C., Weber, M., Gillner, A.:
Helical drilling of high-aspect-ratio microholes in stainless steel using ultrashort laser pulses.
WLT/LiM Lasers in Manufacturing Conference 2019 Munich, June 24 - 27, 2019. Proceedings of World of Photonics, (6 S.), (2019)

He, C., Esch, D., Gillner, A.:
Adaption of energy deposition in helical drilling of multidimensional micro holes using ultrashort laser pulses.
LAMP-8th International Congress on Laser Advanced Materials Processing, 21.- 24.5.2019, Hiroshima Japan. Proceedings of LAMP2019, Ultrafast Pulse Laser Processing, 19-028 (Th3-L3, A120086), (5 S.), (2019)

He, C., Esch, D., Gillner, A.:
Adaption of Energy Deposition in Helical Drilling of Multidimensional Micro Holes Using Ultrashort Laser Pulses.
J LASER MICRO NANOEN 14(2), 173-178 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.2961/jlmn.2019.02.0010

Nießen,M., Bürgermeister, L., Hambach, N.:
Hot or Cold Ablation – That’s the Question.
LASER TECHNIK JOURNAL 14, 42-44 (2017)

Hambach, N., Hartmann, C., Keller, S., Gillner, A.:
High Density Perforation of Thin Al-Foils with Ultra Short Pulse Lasersin Dependence on the Repetition Rate
Journal of Laser Micro/Nanoengineering 11
192-198 (2016)

Uchtmann, H., He, C., Gillner, A.:
High precision and high aspect ratio laser drilling: challenges and solutions
Proc.  SPIE 9741 (12 S.) (2016)

Janssen, S., Reinelt, S., Kelbassa, I., Oppitz, S., Cetin, M.:
Comparison between PS and µS-laser radiation for drilling holes for force transmission elements in CFRP-preforms
ICALEO 2015 - International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics, October 18-22, 2015, Atlanta, Ga., USA, Paper 1701 (10 S.) (2015)

Janssen, S., Fögen, N., Kelbassa, I., Cetin, M.: Oppitz, S.:
Drilling of holes for force transmission elements in CFRP-preforms via ultra-short pulse laser radiation
LAMP 2015 – the 7th International Congress on Laser Advanced Materials Processing, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan, (7 S.) (2015)

Trautz, M., Koj, C., Uchtmann, H.:
Laserstrahlbohrungen für richtungsgenau positionierte Vollgewindeschrauben – Einbau und Tragverhalten
Bautechnik 92 (6), 403-411 (2015)

Uchtmann, H.:
Drilling of cooling holes
LIA Today (May/June), 14-17 (2015)

Uchtmann, H., Kuerschner, D., Kelbassa, I.:
Hybrid laser drilling of cooling holes by using millisecond pulsed fiber laser radiation and ultrashort pulsed laser radiation
In: LAMP2015 -  The 7th International Congress on Laser Advanced Materials Processing, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan, 26. bis 29. Mai 2015. (7 S.) (2015)

Finger, J., Reininghaus, M.:
Effect of pulse to pulse interactions on ultra-short pulse laser drilling of steel with repetition rates up to 10 MHz
Opt. Expr. 22 (15), 18790-18799 (2014)

Uchtmann, H., Kelbassa, I.:
CAx process chain for automated laser drilling of tool molds
J. Mech. Eng. Autom. 4, 427-431 (2014)

Hartmann, C., Hambach, N., Jüngst, M., Keller, S., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A.:
High density perforation of thin Al-foils with ultra short pulse lasers
Proc. of LAMP2013 - the 6th Int. Congr. on Laser Advanced Materials Processing (4 S.) (2013)

Janssen, S., Uchtmann, H., Kelbassa, I.:
Determination of the bore hole diameter by analyzing process emissions
ICALEO, 32th International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics: October 6-10, 2013, Miama/Fl., USA, Paper 701 (2013)

Uchtmann, H., Kelbassa, I.:
Cax process chain for laser drilling of tool molds ICALEO, 32th International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics: October 6-10, 2013, Miama/Fl., USA, Paper 702 (2013)

Fornaroli, C., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A.:
Laser-Beam helical drilling of high quality micro holes
Proc. of the 31st Int. Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics, ICALEO September 23-27, 2012, Anaheim, CA, USA
LIA Pub. 615 (105), (10 S) (2012)

Hambach, N., Hartmann, C., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A.:
Stability limits of laser drilled hole arrays on large areas
J. Laser Appl. 24 (3), (5 S.) (2012)

Uhlmann, E., Langmack, M., Schimmelpfennig, T.-M., Fornaroli, C.:
Laser and micro electrical discharge drilling - Hybrid machine tool and process analysis for combined machining
WT Online Ausgabe 6, 347-325 (2012)

Baier, T., Schulz-Ruthenberg, M., Ametowobla, M., Schlenker, T., Manz, D.:
Theoretical approach to estimate laser process parameters for drilling in crystalline silicon
Progr. Photovoltaics 18 (8), 603-606, (2010)
DOI:10.1002/pip.1012

Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Baier, T., Boeckler, E.-W., Siebert, C.:
Concept and realization of a high-rate laser drilling process reaching for ten thousands holes per second and beyond
ICALEO 2010. 29th International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro Optics, Anaheim/Ca., Paper M1103, (4 S.) (2010)

Dietrich, J., Brajdic, M., Engbers, S., Klinkmüller, L., Kelbassa, I.:
Enhancing the quality and productivity of laser drilling by changing process gas parameters while processing
28th International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics, November 2-5, 2009 Orlando, Fl.: LIA 2009, (4 S.) (Paper 1705) (2009)

Dietrich, J., Brajdic, M., Mirau, A., Klinkmueller, L., Kelbassa, I.:
The influence of process gases on laser drilling
Proc. of the 5th Int. WLT Conf. on Lasers in Manufacturing 2009, Munich, June 15th-18th, 2009.
Ed. by A. Ostendorf [u.a.], Stuttgart: AT-Fachverlag, pp. 815-818, (2009)

Brajdic, M., Walther, K., Eppelt, U.:
Analysis of laser drilled deep holes in stainless steel by superposed pulsed Nd:YAG laser radiation
Opt. Lasers Eng. 46, 648-655, (2008)

Walther, K., Brajdic, M., Kelbassa, I., Poprawe, R.:
Bohren mit gepulster Laserstrahlung
WT Werkstattstechnik 98, 520-523, (2008)

Gillner, A., Dohrn, A., Hartmann, C.:
High quality laser machining for tool and part manufacturing using innovative machining systems and laser beam sources
Proc. of the 3rd CIRP Int. Conf. High Performance Cutting (HPC), Dublin, Ireland, June 12 -13, (2008)

Walther, K., Holtkoetter, C., Kelbassa, I., Poprawe, R.:
Influence of process gas sort and pressure on laser percussion drilling
Proc. of the 27th Int. Conf. on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics 2008, ICALEO, Temecula, CA, October 20-23, Paper 301
7 S., (2008)

Brajdic, M., Hermans, M., Horn, A., Kelbassa, I.:
In situ measurement of plasma and shock wave properties inside laser-drilled metal holes
Meas. Sci. Technol. 19, (8 S.) (2008)

Dietrich, J., Brajdic, M., Walther, K., Horn, A., Kelbassa, I., Poprawe, R.:
Investigation of increased drilling speed by online high-speed photography
Optics Lasers Eng. 46, 705-710, (2008)

Brajdic, M., Hermans, M., Horn, A., Kelbassa, I.:
Investigation of plasma and shock-wave dynamics and properties inside holes during laser drilling of metals
Proc. LPM2008 - 9th Int. Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication
(4 S.) (2008)

Walther, K., Brajdic, M., Dietrich, J., Hermans, M., Witty, M., Horn, A., Kelbassa, I., Poprawe, R.:
Manufacturing of shaped holes in multi-layer plates by laser drilling
Proc. 3rd Pacific Int. Conf. on Application of Lasers and Optics
pp. 789-794, (2008)

Brajdic, M., Hermans, M., Kaminsky, M., Kelbassa, I.:
Measurement of plasma and shock-wave dynamics and properties inside holes during laser drilling of metals
Proc. of the 27th Int. Conf. on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics 2008, ICALEO, Temecula, CA, October 20-23, Paper 110, (6 S.) (2008)

Poprawe, R., Kelbassa, I., Walther, K., Witty, M., Bohn, D., Krewinkel, R.:
Optimising and manufacturing a laser-drilled cooling hole geometry for effusion-cooled multi-layer plates
12th Int. Symp. Transport Phenomena and Dynamics of Rotating Machinery, Honolulu, Hawai, February 17-22, 2008, (11 S.) (2008)

E. W. Kreutz, K. Walther, R. Poprawe, S. Angel, E. Ratte, W. Bleck, K. Bobzin, E. Lugscheider, R. Nickel, K. Richardt, N. Bagcivan
High-temperature turbine applications using open porous metallic foams with thermal barrier coatings and cooling hole arrays
ISCORMA-4, Calgary/Alberta, Canada
27-31 August 2007, (11 S.) (2007)

Walther, K., Brajdic, M., Kelbassa, I.:
Increase of drilling velocity by use of superposed laser radiation
Proceedings of 4th International WLT-Conference on Lasers in Manufacturing, Munich, June 2007, (4 S.) (2007)

Angel, S., Ratte, E., Bleck, W., Bobzin, K., Lugscheider, E., Nickel, R., Richardt, K., Bagcivan, N., Walther, K., Kreutz, E.W., Kelbassa, I., Poprawe, R.:
Open porous metallic foams with thermal barrier coating and cooling hole array for high temperature turbine applications
High Temp. Mat. Proc. 11, 321-344, (2007)

Kelbassa, I., Walther, K., Trippe, L., Meiners, W., Over, C.:
Potentials of manufacture and repair of nickel base turbine components used in aero engines and power plants by laser metal deposition and laser drilling
J. Aerospace Power 22, 739-748, (2007)

Kreutz, E.W., Trippe, L., Walther, K., Poprawe, R.:
Process development and control of laser drilled and shaped holes in turbine components
J. Lasermicro/Nanoeng 2, 123-127, (2007)

Liebers, R., Dürr, U., Trippe, L., Schulz, W.:
Drilling strategies for metals with pulsed YAG lasers
Proceedings of ICALEO 2006, (6 S.)  (2006)

Walther, K., Brajdic, M., Kreutz, E. W.:
Enhanced processing speed in laser drilling of stainless steel by spatially and temporally superposed pulsed Nd:YAG laser radiation
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
(5 S.)/Online first, (2006)

Kelbassa, I., Walther, K., Trippe, L., Meiners, W., Over, C.:
Potentials of manufacture and repair of nickel base turbine components used in aero engines and power plants by laser metal deposition and laser drilling
Proceedings of ISJPPE 2025, (9 S.) (2006)

Trippe, L., Walther, K., Kreutz, E.W., Poprawe, R.:
Process development and control of laser drilled and shaped holes in turbine components
Proceedings of LAMP 2006, (5 S.) (2006)

Poprawe, R., Kreutz, E. W., Trippe, L., Walther, K.:
Process development for laser drilled hole arrays in cooled structures
Tagungsband zum 3. Workshop
des SFB 561, DFG, 34-38, (2006)

Kelbassa, I., Over, C., Trippe, L., Kreutz, E.W., K. Wissenbach:
Reconditioning of nickel base HPT blades and vanes used in aero engines and power plant gas turbines by combination of direct laser forming, laser metal deposition and laser drilling
Proceedings of PICALO 2006, (7 S.) (2006)