Our 5-Axis YAG Laser as well as state-of-the-art Co2 and Fiber Lasers are able to perform processes such as cutting, welding, drilling and ablation
Hi-Tek has been operating advanced YAG lasers for almost four decades. Our laser beam machining techniques empower us to work with a range of composite materials that might not meet the conductivity demands of processes like EDM. It also allows our team to keep production moving at high speeds and tightly control process parameters.
By fine-tuning factors such as pulse duration, beam radius, and laser power, we're able to realize small-diameter holes while minimizing heat deformation and process-induced material fatigue. Our laser techniques also give us the ability to perform accurate cooling-hole forming following finishing processes such as coating application. In other words, our customers don't have to seek multiple manufacturers to get the job done.
The use of laser ablation technology allows us to precisely clear the thermal coating, a much more precise process than _____ preventing us from having to ship the part to another facility mid-process
Hot gas path components inside turbines rely on thermal-barrier coatings to allow sustained operation at elevated temperatures. The newest and most economical production model for turbine vanes, direct through coating drilling, involves applying the thermal barrier coating prior to drilling the diffuser and metering holes. With our proficiency in laser ablation technology, we can clear the top layer of the thermal barrier coating in the precise hole shape and pattern to allow for fast hole EDM drilling of the cooling holes.
This process requires a sophisticated level of laser programming to remove only the microscopically thin top layer while leaving the conductive bond coating layer in place. Our 5-axis laser enables us to manipulate the beam head to ablate the coating and create clean diffuser shapes without causing any ancillary delamination or damage to the thermal barrier coating. We perform extensive in-process measurement and inspection to ensure the accuracy of the shapes and the true hole position. Once the top layer of the coating is ablated, we drill the metering holes using fast EDM technology, which allows us to accurately drill deep holes with contoured openings in tough materials at high speed.
We use this combination of laser ablation and fast hole EDM drilling in the manufacture of turbine vanes for multiple engine sets used in power generation. Production also involves 5-axis CNC creep feed and CBN grinding and pulsed EDM to create the seal slots and notches. We also carry out extensive airflow testing, document all of the measurement data, and use non-destructive test methods to confirm surfaces are free from defects. These turbine vanes exceed the strict quality standards established for hot gas path engine components.
Hi-Tek installed their first 5-Axis YAG laser in 1982. In the 30+ years since many additional 5 & 6 Axis Lasers of many sizes have been added. In addition to YAG Lasers Hi-Tek has C02 as well as the latest Fiber Lasers. Parts as large as 92" x 72" x 36"are able to be processed on Hi-Tek's CNC Laser Centers.
At Hi-Tek Manufacturing, our advanced laser cutting equipment allows us to create complicated features and drill precise holes with exceptionally close positioning and tight tolerances. We utilize laser processes for producing complex components and assemblies used in aviation, power generation, and marine turbine engines. Our facility houses both ND:Yag and CO2 lasers with features such as 6-axes of articulated motion and integrated CNC and DNC control systems for managing geometrically complex workpieces. Process-based inspections ensure we maintain consistent quality results.
By tightly regulating beam profile, speed, and positioning, we make advanced cuts in high-temperature super alloys, cobalt- and nickel-based alloys, non-metallic materials, and more. We have the capacity to laser cut parts measuring up to 96” in length x 72” in width x 36” in height. Laser drilling, using both percussion and trepanning methods, enables us to produce cooling holes with exacting sizes in complicated patterns. Our drill-to-flow approach incorporates in-process and post-process testing to ensure products maintains precise airflow values.
For over 30 Years Hi-Tek has been using lasers for cutting many materials including high temperature Nickle/Cobalt. Material thicknesses range from less than .010" up to 3/8 inches thick are routinely cut. Cutting final part configurations from sheet stock as well as Laser trimming formed sheet metal parts to exacting customer requirements are common. Non-metallic parts are Laser cut as well. In addition, openings of all sizes and shapes are cut into work pieces.
Hi-Tek has been 5-Axis laser welding for three decades. Similar and dis-similar aerospace materials are routinely welded. Covers, baffles, impingement sheets and other hardware are frequently welded to gas turbine HPT Blades, Vanes, Shroudes, Seals and various other hardware.
In 1982 Hi-Tek purchased their first 5-Axis Laser. In the quarter century since, tens of millions of holes have been produced by Multi-Axis Lasers at Hi-Tek. Many new Lasers have been procured during this time as Hi-Tek continually expanded both capabilities and capacity. Parts up to 36" x 48" x 80" can be processed on our equipment.
In the past few years there has been need for the ability to produce round and shaped cooling holes in HPT hardware AFTER TBC coating. Hi-Tek's technical crew addressed this need and developed a Laser Ablation process that today is routinely utilized on production HPT Blades, Vanes, and various other HGP components.
Our expert staff can take your application from drawing all the way through to production, test, and inspection. We are a valuable resource for concurrent engineering and offer innovative ideas to improve prototypes and accelerate product development. In addition to ISO 9001:2008 and AS 9100 c, we have also achieved Nadcap certification.
Engineering high tech turbines leaves zero room for error. For that reason, aerospace components must be absolutely accurate in their design, manufacture, and creation.