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Applied Polymer Composites

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Title: Investigations on the 3D laser cutting of CFRP using a nanosecond pulse fibre laser
Page Range: p.177-192
Author(s): Herzog D; Canisius M; Schmidt-Lehr M; Hergoss P; Daniel C; Sina Hallmann; Emmelmann C; Scherner M V
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Journal: Applied Polymer Composites
Issue Year: apc
Volume: 2
Issue No: No.4

Laser cutting of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) has proven to be a wear-free alternative especially for cutting thinner laminates up to 2-3 mm. Laser cutting of CFRP currently requires a trade-off between manufacturing speed and quality. This study deals with an intermediate laser cutting approach using a nanosecond short pulse laser with high average power to find a compromise between manufacturing speed and quality. Experiments have shown that the material removal rate is directly proportional to the average power for intensities above the ablation threshold. It is also demonstrated that for a certain average power the ablation rate stays constant, regardless of the combinations of pulse frequency and pulse energy. The process has been found to yield acceptable effective cutting speeds while at the same time the heat affected zone is in the range of less than 10 (mu)m for laminates of 1 mm thickness. After understanding the 2D process, it has been transferred to a CFRP bottle cage which was chosen as a reference 3D application. For this purpose, the effect of the angle of incidence on the cutting process has been investigated, to show what kind of curvatures can be tolerated within the processing plane and when a repositioning of the part is necessary. It has been demonstrated that the process itself is fully suitable for 3D cutting, and that a cost-efficient process can be achieved when not only the process but also interdependencies with the machine system, material and part design are taken into account. 21 Refs.