Proceedings PaperMachining with high-brightness lasers
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Drilling and cutting results using high brightness Nd:YAG lasers are presented and compare with that of conventional Nd:YAG lasers. Materials tested include superalloys, intermetallics, and composites. The master-oscillator-power- amplifier (MOPA) laser system has an average power of 100 W and about 1.2 diffraction-limited beam quality. It is Q- switched and/or modelocked. Hence pulse lengths are in the hundreds of picoseconds to hundreds of nanoseconds range, resulting in beam intensities of 108 - 109 W/cm2. It is shown that the shortening of pulse length and the subsequent increase in beam intensity result in much thinner recast layers and heat affected zones (HAZ), less microcracking or delamination of materials, and much better geometry stability. Both the fundamental 1064 nm and the second harmonic wavelength of 532 nm are tested, showing substantial additional advantage for the shorter wavelength.