July 18--The Commercial Laser Group of General Atomics (San Diego, CA) has produced 30um holes in diesel fuel injectors using its Everest SuperPulse laser system. Previous hole sizes obtained were 100 um, but with new drilling techniques and higher quality beams, 30um holes are produced routinely in 1mm-thick steel plates and 50 um in 2mm-thick steel.
According to Mike Armas, director of the Commercial Laser Group, "The diesel engine manufacturers are required to reduce emissions by 2010 to the new standards. The smaller injector nozzle holes will allow engine manufacturers to meet these standards." Reportedly, the diode-pumped, solid-state laser systems available from General Atomics have short pulse capabilities that enable new machining techniques not available through other vendors or alternate laser technology.
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