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Product Code: ICA13_1905

Investigations on Processing of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics Using Ultrashort Pulsed Laser Radiation with High Average Power
Johannes Finger, Chair for Laser Technology, Rwth Aachen University; Aachen Germany
Marco Weinand, Chair for Laser Technology, Rwth Aachen University; Aachen Germany
Dirk Wortmann, Chair for Laser Technology, Rwth Aachen University; Aachen Germany
Presented at ICALEO 2013

Due to an outstanding ratio of strength to weight, carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) are a promising material for lightweight applications e.g. in aerospace and automotive industry. The main challenge for laser processing is the strong difference between the optical and thermal properties of the matrix and the carbon fibers. The high intensities needed for ablation of the carbon fibers result in high thermal load and in consequence to thermal damage of the matrix material. Therefore ultrashort pulsed laser radiation in particular has a great potential for processing of CFRP as the short pulse durations and high intensities at comparable low pulse energies allow precise processing with very low heat input.
We present investigations of processing of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) using ultrashort pulsed laser radiation with high average power. The influence of the main processing parameters on ablation rate and width of heat affected zone is investigated and discussed. Special attention is paid to the role of heat accumulation on the processing results. Ablation and cutting of CFRP samples with a heat affected zone smaller than 5 µm as well as ablation rates of up to 100 mm³/min are demonstrated. Finally, various strategies for further improvement of quality and productivity for ultrashort pulsed laser processing of CFRP will be discussed.

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