New laser used in aerospace drilling application

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JK Lasers (part of the GSI group) has revealed that Winbro Group Technologies, a manufacturer of advanced machining equipment for the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries, is the first company to receive an enhanced JK604D laser. The improved laser has been integrated into a Winbro Delta five-axis laser drilling machine. The JK604D is a pulsed Nd:YAG laser offering higher peak powers and improved focusability than its predecessors, providing peak power densities that were previously unattainable.

The system will be used for application and process development for a range of turbine components that require cooling holes, in the aero and industrial gas turbine industries. Components include turbine blades, vanes, segments, flame tubes and combustors.

According to JK Lasers, Winbro Group Technologies selected the JK604D due to the laser's exceptional beam quality. This beam quality allows manufacturers to drill higher quality cooling holes with a more flexible range of profiles at reduced cycle times and with minimal heat affected zones (HAZ).

Winbro plan to install the system into their new facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina during January 2011. The facility, which was announced last month, is set to open up the company’s laser drilling machines to the US market.