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Substantial energy savings in puncturing metal plates by laser radiation can be achieved by heating the metal by cw radiation to a temperature closely below the melting point and then applying a sharp radiation pulse to push the hot metal plug through the plate. An analysis of this process is presented, in which the non‐Newtonian viscosity behavior of metals is considered. Scale‐up effects and efficiency calculations are presented for laser‐supported detonation waves and point explosions. Flow characteristics as well as penetration criteria are given for aluminum, copper, and steel which are in good agreement with experimental data.