CNC Deep Hole Drilling Services

Precision Hole Drilling of Substrates and Windows

Valley Design has perfected the art of hole drilling in hard, brittle materials such as Glass, Ceramics, and Sapphire. Conventional drilling does not work on these materials. We have replaced traditional ultrasonic drilling technology with improved CNC hole drilling capabilities on hard, brittle non-metallic materials. This precision hole drilling service produces stress-free holes which are devoid of microscopic cracks or fissures. Valley provides glass hole drilling, ceramic hole drilling and sapphire hole drilling, as well as small diameter CNC coring on these and many other materials.

Precision Deep Hole Drilling Services

Traditional hole drilling techniques such as rotary ultrasonic drilling services have been supplanted by new, proprietary techniques developed over the last several years at Valley Design. The resultant hole quality is superior to that generated with other methods such as Rotary Ultrasonic Drilling or Laser Drilling. When precision hole drilling brittle and hard materials such as glass or ceramics, they will often overheat and fracture due to stresses associated with ordinary rotational ultrasonic drilling or laser cutting methods. Substrates, windows and wafers of all types may be CNC drilled including glass, ceramics, quartz, 96% and 99.6% Alumina, and Aluminum Nitride. The smooth, controlled cutting action of CNC diamond drills plus a water coolant reduces diamond tool binding. This enables faster, more efficient cutting using lighter tool pressure than with conventional machining. The lighter tool pressure simplifies drilling small diameter holes, long and deep holes, and adjacent holes close together all producing superior results. Less friction also reduces the stress imposed on the material caused by conventional ultrasonic diamond tool machining.

Rotary Ultrasonic drilling technology is based on the mechanism of micro-chipping of the hard, brittle material. There may be residual micro-cracking in the material as a result. Lasered holes have their place in the landscape of hole drilling technologies. Parts with lasered holes may have Heat Affected Zones (HAZ) around the generated holes. These Heat Affected Zones (HAZ) are areas next to the heat source which may change the properties of the lasered material – sometimes in small ways, and occasionally it may have a greater impact. For example, Aluminum Nitride ceramics at thicknesses above .025” exhibit some significant visual burning of the material that results from the heat of the laser drilling process and the thermal conductivity of the material. Laser drilling also involves some taper of the holes.

Laser Hole Drilling Services

Valley Design does offer laser hole drilling options when appropriate as Laser Drilling does have certain advantages. Laser Drilling can be accomplished with both high speed and accuracy. Other advantages of laser drilling relate to the ability to drill large aspect ratio holes (Depth to Diameter ratio).

Superior CNC Hole Drilling Technique

For the highest quality holes, Valley Design has developed a superior CNC hole drilling technique. This new method has enabled us to achieve unprecedented, nearly chip-free, straight, bore holes in the various hard, brittle materials we machine. The new method produces no Heat Affected Zones (HAZ), no taper, and are nearly chip-free. Valley provides glass drilling services and ceramic drilling, as well as hole and core drilling on a wide variety of other materials including, fused quartz and fused silica, sapphire, 96% and 99.6% Aluminas, Aluminum Nitride, Silicon Carbide, Macor, Stainless steel, Aluminum and metal alloys, and many others.

Other CNC precision hole drilling services are also available from Valley Design including conventional diamond drilling and diamond core drilling.

Capabilities in CNC Hole Drilling:

  • CNC diamond drilling of hole diameters from .0255" - .500"
  • Hole placement tolerance ± .001”, repeatability + .0002”
  • Chips = under ______” for most materials.
  • Depths = depending on material, spacing, and other features; but 1” or greater is possible.
  • Hard and brittle materials such as Sapphire, Glass, Fused Silica, Quartz, Silicon, Ceramics, AlN, 96% and 99.6% Alumina and others can be precision drilled, lapped, polished and shaped.