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Product Code: JLA_20_4_230

A. Riveiro
F. Quintero
F. Lusquin˜os
J. Pou
M. Pe´rez-Amor
Departamento de Fi´sica Aplicada, Universidade de Vigo, ETS Ingenieros Industriales, Vigo, 36310, Spain

Since the beginning of the aeronautic industry, aluminum alloys have played a crucial role in its development. Nowadays, different aluminum alloy families are the base material of many pieces of aerospace vehicles. In this work, a novel approach to process aluminum alloys is explored. The authors efforts are aimed to cut 2024-T3 plates by a CO2 laser. They used a novel laser cutting head assisted by a gas jet working in supersonic regime in order to accomplish this objective. This supersonic nozzle and the intrinsic geometry of the cutting head allow carrying out the processing of these alloys more efficiently than conventional cutting heads. The microstructural characterization, grain morphology, kerf dimensions, and surface finish of the cuts have been analyzed. The cut edges are free of dross and cracks and the heat affected zone is negligible. These successful results confirm laser cutting processing assisted by a supersonic assisting gas jet as a promising technique in the aerospace field.

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