Recent advances in the design of gain modules for diode-pumped solid-state lasers have allowed the manufacture of
high-powered Q-switched products. The high available pulse energy and good mode quality enable highly efficient
harmonic conversion, enabling the generation of several hundred watts of average power at a wavelength of 532nm.
Among the applications for which this class of product may be suited is the rapid drilling of small-diameter holes in
aluminum sheet. To investigate this application, plates of several aluminum alloys were drilled under a variety of
conditions. The drilled plates were sectioned and subjected to analysis by optical metallography. The initial results
indicate ways in which the process may be optimized.