The laser drilling process has been modelled using a first-order thermal balance approach. An algorithm defining the coupling of laser pulse energy with metals has been derived. Incorporated in this algorithm are material, optical, and geometrical properties required for adequate system modelling. Tests on both a neodymium-glass and a neodymium-YAG (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) based lasers have been conducted. Results with two sets of optical settings indicate an excellent correlation between predicted and actual pulse energies.

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