Modern Machine Shop Magazine: "Laser Gets Wet"
by Matt Danford
Designed for small, intricate features like turbine blade cooling holes, technology that fuses water and light virtually eliminates the traditional drawbacks of laser cutting without compromising the benefits.
Just add water. According to a report recently published by General Electric, that’s the ticket to making laser machining a viable process for producing the cooling holes that pepper the surfaces of turbine blades for both gas and industrial applications. This unique variety of laser cutting has reportedly helped GE save hours of production time on every part, and now, the technology’s Swiss developer and its North American partners hope to spread the gains to other turbine blade manufacturers as well. After all, they say it not only offers all the speed and precision for which laser cutting has long been renowned, but also eliminates the traditional drawbacks: namely, heat affecting the material structure and machined sludge adhering to the surface.