Investigation of recast and crack formation in laser trepanning drilling of CMSX-4 angled holes

  • Nicolau Iralal Morar
  • Rajkumar Roy
  • Jörn Mehnen
  • Sundar Marithumu
  • Simon Gray
  • Tracey Roberts
  • John Nicholls
Open Access


This paper presents an experimental investigation on the influences of laser trepanning drilling process parameters on the recast layer thickness and surface crack formation in CMSX-4 nickel-based superalloy angled holes. The effects of peak power, pulse frequency and the trepanning speed as input parameters were investigated in details by varying the laser drilling conditions using Taguchi orthogonal array-based design of experiment approach. Analysis of variance identifies the significant parameters affecting the output responses. It is found that the output responses are affected mainly by the peak power and trepanning speed. The experimental results reveal that the recast layer thickness increases with the increase of peak power and trepanning speed whereas the crack number density decreases with the increase of peak power only. Pulse frequency has no significant effect on both output responses within the range of values investigated. The knowledge gained in this parametric study could be used to improve the metallurgical characteristics of laser-drilled nickel-based acute angled holes.


Laser trepanning drilling CMSX-4 Recast layer Surface cracks 



The authors are thankful to the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council for financial support of the research work (grant number EP/I033246/1) and Rolls-Royce Plc for the technical support and useful discussions. The laser drilling facilities provided by Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Ansty, are gratefully acknowledged.


  1. 1.
    Tam S, Williams R, Yang L, Jana S, Lim L, Lau M (1990) A review of the laser processing of aircraft components. J Mater Process Technol 23(2):177–194. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yeo C, Tam S, Jana SLM (1994) A technical review of the laser drilling of aerospace materials. J Mater Process Technol 42(1):15–49. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Voisey K, Clyne T (2004) Laser drilling of cooling holes through plasma sprayed thermal barrier coatings. Surf Coatings Technol 176(3):296–306. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    McNally CA, Folkes J, Pashby IR (2004) Laser drilling of cooling holes in aeroengines: state of the art and future challenges. Mater Sci Technol 20(7):805–813. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dimov S, Petkov P, Minev R, Pham D (2008) Laser milling: pulse duration effects on surface integrity. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part B J Eng Manuf 222:35–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Low DKY, Li L, Byrd PJ (2000) The effects of process parameters on spatter deposition in laser percussion drilling. Opt Laser Technol 32(5):347–354. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Leigh S, Sezer K, Li L, Grafton-Reed C, Cuttell M (2010) Recast and oxide formation in laser-drilled acute holes in CMSX-4 nickel single-crystal superalloy. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part B J Eng Manuf 224(7):1005–1016. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sezer H, Li L, Schmidt M, Pinkerton A, Anderson B, Williams P (2006) Effect of beam angle on HAZ, recast and oxide layer characteristics in laser drilling of TBC nickel superalloys. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 46(15):1972–1982. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Duan W, Wang K, Dong X, Mei X, Wang W, Fan Z (2014) Experimental characterizations of burr deposition in Nd:YAG laser drilling: a parametric study. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 76:1529–1542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schneider M, Berthe L, Muller M, Fabbro R (2010) A fast method for morphological analysis of laser drilling holes. J Laser Appl 22(4):127–131. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Yilbas BS (1985) The study of laser produced plasma behaviour using streak photography. Jpn J Appl Phys 24:1417–1420. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Garofano J, Marcus H, Aindow M (2009) Characterization of microstructural effects in a percussion laser-drilled powder metallurgy Ni-based superalloy. J Mater Sci 44(2):680–684. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Garofano J, Marcus H, Aindow M (2010) Extraction replication studies of near-surface microstructures in laser-drilled samples of the powder metallurgy Ni-based superalloy IN100. Mater Charact 61(10):929–936. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Schneider M (2007) New experimental approach to study laser matter interaction during drilling in percussion regime. J Laser Micro/Nanoengineering 2(2):117–122. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Beck T (2011) Laser drilling in gas turbine blades shaping of holes in ceramic and metallic coatings. Laser Tech J 8(3):40–43. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    van Dijk MH (1992) Drilling of aero-engine components: experiences from the shop floor. In: Belforte D, Leviit M (eds) The Industrial Laser Handbook. Springer, pp 113–118.
  17. 17.
    Goyal R, Dubey AK (2014) Quality improvement by parameter optimization in laser trepan drilling of superalloy sheet. Mater Manuf Process 29(11-12):1410–1416. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bandyopadhyay S, Sarin SJ, Sundararajan G, Joshi S (2002) Geometrical features and metallurgical characteristics of Nd:YAG laser drilled holes in thick IN718 and Ti–6Al–4V sheets. J Mater Process Technol 127(1):83–95. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pandey ND, Shan HS, Mohandas T (2006) Percussion laser-drilled holes: characteristics and characterization procedure. Mater Manuf Process 21(4):383–391. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mishra S, Yadava V (2013) Modeling and optimization of laser beam percussion drilling of nickel-based superalloy sheet using Nd: YAG laser. Opt Lasers Eng 51(6):681–695. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Corcoran A, Sexton L, Seaman B, Ryan P, Bryne G (2002) The laser drilling of multi-layer aerospace material systems. J Mater Process Technol 123(1):100–106. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Leigh S, Sezer K, Li L, Grafton-Reed C, Cuttell M (2009) Statistical analysis of recast formation in laser drilled acute blind holes in CMSX-4 nickel superalloy. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 43(11-12):1094–1105. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bathe R, Padmanabham G (2014) Evaluation of laser drilling of holes in thermal barrier coated superalloys. Mater Sci Technol 30(14):1778–1782. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Horn A, Weichenhain R, Albrecht S, Kreutz EW, Michel J, Niessen M, Kostrykin V, Schulz W, Etzkorn A, Bobzin K, Lugscheider E (2000) Microholes in zirconia coated Ni-superalloys for transpiration cooling of turbine blades. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng 4065:218–226Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Grafton-Reed C (2008) Brief insight into Rolls-Royce laser manufacturing technologies. Ind Oppor laser micro nano Process - AILU Technol Work:1–9Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Willach J, Kreutz E, Michel J, Niessen M, Schulz W, Poprawe R (2003) Melt expulsion by a coaxial gas jet in trepanning of CMSX-4 with microsecond Nd:YAG laser radiation. Fourth Int Symp laser Precis Microfabr 5063:435–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lugscheider E, Bobzin K, Maes M, Lackner K, Poprawe R, Kreutz E, Willach J (2005) Laser drilled microholes in zirconia coated surfaces using two variants to implement the effusion cooling of first stage turbine blades. Adv Eng Mater 7(3):145–152. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kreutz EW, Trippe L, Walther K, Poprawe R (2007) Process development and control of laser drilled and shaped holes in turbine components. J Laser Micro/Nanoengineering 2(2):123–127. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Chien WT, Hou SC (2007) Investigating the recast layer formed during the laser trepan drilling of Inconel 718 using the Taguchi method. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 33(3-4):308–316. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wang K, Duan W, Mei X, Wang W (2012) Technology to drill micro-holes without recast layer by laser on nickel-based alloy. In: Advanced Materials Research. pp 303–307Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kumar S, Dubey AK, Pandey AK (2013) Computer-aided genetic algorithm based multi-objective optimization of laser trepan drilling. Int J Precis Eng Manuf 14(7):1119–1125. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    French PW, Naeem M, Sharp M, Watkins KG, (2006) Investigation into the influence of pulse shaping on drilling efficiency. In ICALEO 2006 Proceedings. Laser Institute of America, Orlando, FL (United States), Paper 310Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    French PW, Hand DP, Peters C, Shannon GJ, Byrd P, Steen WM (1998) Investigation of the Nd: YAG laser percussion drilling process using high speed filming. ICALEO 98 Proc 85:1–10Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Fullagar KPL, Broomfield RW, Hulands M, Harris K, Erickson GL, Sikkenga SL (1996) Aero engine test experience with CMSX-4® alloy single-crystal turbine blades. J Eng Gas Turbines Power 118(2):380–388. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Roy RK (2010) A primer on the Taguchi method, 2nd ed. Society of Manufacturing EngineersGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Corcoran A, Sexton L (2000) The laser drilling of multi-layer Rene80 and X40 material systems. Laser Mater Process 89:163–172Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolau Iralal Morar
    • 1
  • Rajkumar Roy
    • 1
  • Jörn Mehnen
    • 2
  • Sundar Marithumu
    • 3
  • Simon Gray
    • 1
  • Tracey Roberts
    • 1
  • John Nicholls
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Manufacturing and MaterialsCranfield UniversityCranfieldUK
  2. 2.Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering ManagementUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Ansty Business ParkWarwickshireUK

Personalised recommendations