In effect, a round hole is a cylindrical surface that extends between the front and back surfaces of a substrate sheet. Recent advances in laser hole drilling techniques have provided the means to produce precision holes in the one micron diameter region that are of a higher quality than that produced by the micro drill bit.
For centuries, people have made holes for many applications using the mechanical drill bit. The micro machining industry has been able to serve the market for small holes of a diameter greater than 25 microns (0.00098″). The industry, however, has found it difficult and challenging to economically produce precision small holes in the range less than 25 microns in diameter. In machining, the harder materials are more difficult to work and the very hard materials are impossible to work.
Laser Drilled Holes
Laser drilling is a non-contact procedure that yields a precision, clean, round and burr-free hole with sharp edges that may be easily reproduced for mass production. In, addition, harder materials are easier to drill and control than softer materials. Materials that are impossible to machine drill, such as diamond, sapphire, ruby, and alumina, are easily worked by the laser beam. The laser drilled small hole industry is now able to economically serve the market for small holes of a diameter less than 25 microns.
This does not imply that the laser is only useful for drilling microscopic sized holes. A hole of almost any size may be laser drilled. The drilling diameter is a function of the focused beam spot size. Larger diameter laser rods yield a larger focused spot. This new industry is a separate technology field. Lenox Laser, Inc. a leader in small hole technology has through use of recent advancements in laser drilling techniques, provides precision holes as small as one micron and below that may be reliably and quickly produced in a wide variety of materials. Small holes are drilled in discs in the range of 0.002″ thickness, which are then mounted in a more massive holder for retention in the end use mechanical system.