Product Code: ICA11_1204

Evaluation of a Novel Process for an In-Situ Sealing of the Cutting Edge During Laser Cutting of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP)
S. Bastick, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V; -
P. Jaeschke, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.; Hannover Germany
F. Volkermeyer, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V; -
C. Nolke, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V; -
F. Fischer, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.; Hannover Germany
U. Stute, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.; Hannover Germany
D. Kracht, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.; Hannover Germany
Presented at ICALEO 2011

Laser cutting of CFRP-laminates with high-power lasers has a faster cycle time and an improved automation in comparison to milling or water jet cutting. Since laser cutting is a thermal process, a reduction of the matrix material is induced close to the cutting kerf. The exposed carbon fibers may cause contact corrosion. With the aim of covering the cutting edge to prevent corrosion a novel process has been developed, that guides thermoplastic powder through the cutting zone. In order to use the residual heat at the cutting edge to melt the powder, the process is performed in-situ. The main focus of this work is the optical characterization of the sealing and the variation of selected process parameters with their effects on the sealing. Primarily PPS-CFRP-laminates and PPS-powders were used and the angel of incidence between powder nozzle and the cutting edge was varied in the range of 60° to 90°. Good results were achieved using an angel less than 70°. The laser power and the focal plane have a significant effect on the quality. Due to the investigations, a sealing ratio of larger than 95% of the cutting edge was demonstrated and the water absorption has been significantly reduced by the sealing.

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