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Product Code: ICAL09_610

Macro and Micro Applications for Fibre Lasers in Laser Material Processing of Aerospace Composite Material
Paul French, Liverpool John Moores University; Liverpool Great Britain
Mo Naeem, Gsi Group; Rugby Great Britain
Emily Leach, Wirral Grammer School for Girls; Wirral Great Britain
John Clowes, Fianium Ltd; Southampton Great Britain
Martin Sharp, Liverpool John Moores University; Liverpool Great Britain
Presented at ICALEO 2009

The aerospace industry is showing an increased interest in composite materials. The A380, A350XWB and the Boeing 787 are using or plan to use a large percentage of composite material in their construction. Aerospace companies at present are favouring water jet machining for material processing of composites, i.e. cutting, milling.
We have investigated the use of fibre lasers in processing both carbon and glass fibre composites. We have used two different types of laser, the first a 200W CW fibre laser system from GSI Laser Group to investigate laser cutting. The second laser was a picosecond pulsed fibre laser system from Fianium investigating micromachining applications. Our results show that by carful control of processing parameters laser cutting of thin composite material is possible and our micromachining experiments showed that its possible to micro-texture the surface of carbon composite and modify the surface wettability to promote increased bond strength in a composite joint.

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