SPIE Photonics West: LASE
In the aviation industry, a major market for carbon fibre reinforced plastics, >40.000 drilling operations are performed throughout an aircraft assembly process. Simultaneously, the quality requirements are set to a high level causing considerable costs. Laser processing offers benefits and so has a share in the optimization of processing costs. It was shown that processing with a novel laser machine, adapted handling setup and special strategies led to competitive cycle times while no heat affected zone was observed. Orthogonal borehole sidewalls were achieved meeting the tolerances required. The results revealed a promising future industrial process for high quality macro boreholes.