GSI Group has introduced a new product to its popular range of JK Industrial Lasers. The new JK604D laser has been specifically designed to address percussion drilling and trepanning within the aerospace and automotive industry sectors. Typical applications include drilling of cooling holes (effusion) in jet engines and gas turbine components such as nozzle guide vanes, blades and combustor liners.
GSI has many years of experience in supplying lasers for these applications, with their JK704 drilling laser being the industry standard laser of choice in aerospace drilling applications. Building on this experience, the JK604D brings the advantages of the field proven technology of new JK Pulsed Laser platform to aerospace drilling applications.
Both existing operators of the JK704 and new users will recognise the importance of the benefits offered by the new JK604D laser. Firstly, the laser's beam quality is consistent over the wide operating range, but has been improved by 30 per cent over the industry benchmark of the JK704LD1, which reduces the focused spot size while increasing the peak power density and depth of focus. This leads to a broad processing envelope and ease of application parameter determination. Secondly, the laser features a wide operating envelope, without the need for potentially troublesome variable intra-cavity optics, allows more flexibility in choosing operating parameters and matching them to processing speed variations. Coupled with fast and consistent warm-up characteristics and an inherently high stability laser, the JK604D is a suitable choice for drill-on-the-fly applications, particularly with irregular hole patterns.
Thirdly, the laser's use of reliable, modular power supply technology from the JK pulsed laser range allows a smaller power supply footprint and the use of the LaserView graphical user interface for complete control and easy, high-speed interfacing to system level controllers.
Providing an optimised peak power of 16kW, the new JK pulsed laser has sufficient energy to percussion drill a wide range of aerospace components, and has a demonstrated capability for percussion drilling low angle (30° or less) holes in both single crystal turbine blade and typical guide vane alloys in the range of 0.25mm to 0.8mm in less than one second, with low recast layer thickness.