Femtosecond Temporal Pulse Shaping and Spectroscopy for Drilling and Inspecting Straight and Shaped Cooling Holes

Period of Performance: 03/18/2009 - 12/18/2009

$99.7K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Spectral Energies, LLC
5100 Springfield Street Array
Dayton, OH 45431
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Laser micromachining is being widely used in every industry, including aerospace, automobile, microelectronics and bio-technology. The recent advent of commercial turn-key, high power femtosecond lasers has prompted a great amount of interest in using femtosecond lasers for machining. It has been demonstrated that the femtosecond laser has potential for achieving high precision owing to its extremely confined heat-affected zone. The objective of the proposed research is to develop a novel femtosecond laser micromachining technology based on temporally-shaped femtosecond pulses for DoD and other applications, including drilling shaped film-cooling holes in turbine blades. In these femtosecond pulses, the temporal shape and energy of each pulse, and the pulse-to-pulse separation time are all designed and adjusted at a time scale from femtosecond to nanosecond to overcome common problems associated with laser machining and maximize the machining speed. We will also implement diagnostic techniques to provide a feedback for process monitoring and laser parameter control. This will be based on laser-plasma emission for identifying materials and machining rates. In this project, we will focus on optimizing the pulse shapes for machining of film-cooling holes in turbine blades. However, the technique to be developed is generally applicable for machining a wide variety of other materials. BENEFIT: The proposed technology will have large impact on DoD applications such as drilling shaped film-cooling holes in turbine blades and other areas require high precision micro-machining. The proposed technology will also have commercial applications where laser diagnostics and associated hardware and software are extensivey used (e.g. academic and research institutions).