Our laser drilling services leverage our precision laser expertise to provide highly efficient and rapid drilling of small holes in a wide variety of materials and PCBs, including ceramic substrates, metals, plastics, glass, and semiconductors. Our laser drilling service enables no-contact drilling--from thousands of micro-holes in ceramics and stainless steel, PCB vias and through-holes. When considering laser drilling of glass and PCBs vs. electrical discharge machining, or EDM, laser drilling is much more precise. And compared to other machine drilling techniques, laser drilling doesn’t require tooling that wears down and thus reduces repeatability. At Laser Services, a wide range of laser drilled hole diameters is possible in the same job without retooling, and we're capable of very large, depth-to-diameter ratios with excellent consistency. Also, our laser drilling service is ideal for angled, curved, and inconsistent surfaces, as well as materials of virtually any hardness.
Many glass and semiconductor materials are used in the latest microelectronics and our precision laser drilling is employed to process holes in these very thin and delicate sheets and wafers. In contrast, machine drilling, such as with a wire EDM, CNC, or other mechanical drilling operation, often apply too much pressure resulting in cracks, stress fractures, and reduction of lot yields. Moreover, the excessive heat generated during machine drilling can cause edge melting and thermal cycling that weakens the glass or semiconductors and may change its electrical and physical properties.
One major benefit of laser drilling is that it provides a non-contact machining for developing large, and even laser-drilled micro-holes, which has a very small, heat-affected zone (HAZ). Hence, with laser drilling the threat of cracking, stress fractures, melting, and thermal cycling of a glass or semiconductor is extremely low. Moreover, laser drilling relies on the same precision-positioning systems as the latest CNC and machine-drilling technologies, but has virtually no vibration and tool wobble. This allows for laser-drilling machines to provide enhanced reliability, repeatability, and consistency from job to job.
Certain applications, such as medical devices, surgical equipment, or applications requiring drilling of reactive substances, have very strict standards on the chemical and physical composition and debris left on a component. With mechanical drilling, as well as wire EDM and liquid drilling, a wide range of materials and debris are created during machining. Additional secondary processes may be required, while using traditional machine drilling, to clean, sterilize, and prepare such substances after a drilling process. Aside from time and expense, quality control mishaps could lead to increased liability and damage to a company’s reputation.
These factors aren’t a concern, however, with laser drilling, as only inert gases are used, and no chemicals or materials come in contact with the drilled material. Laser drilling only demonstrates a small heat affect zone (HAZ), and is unlikely to induce enough heat in a material to cause any chemical or physical alteration. The material that comes in contact with the laser drill is vaporized, and not left as a deposit on the drilling medium or drilled surface. This is why materials such as frozen epoxies can be readily laser cut and laser drilled to meet specific application requirements.
Want to know more about Laser Services?
We're located just north of Boston, Massachusets in Westford, MA and we would love to show you around. We service the entire US with many laser machining services and stock all materials in-house, so contact us with your application support questions any time.