Laser cutting is suitable for large-scale and high-efficiency production with relatively high cutting speed, while machining of CFRP composite using lasers is challenging with severe thermal damage due to different material properties and sensitivity to heat. In this paper, surface morphology of cutting plain woven carbon fibre-reinforced plastics (CFRP) by fibre laser and the influence of cutting parameters on machined quality were investigated. A full factorial experimental design was employed involving three variable factors, which included laser pulse frequency at three levels together with laser power and cutting speed at two levels. Heat-affected zone (HAZ), kerf depth and kerf angle were quantified to understand the interactions with cutting parameters. Observations of machined surface were analysed relating to various damages using optical microscope and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which included HAZ, matrix recession, fibre protruding, striations, fibre-end swelling, collapses, cavities and delamination. Based on ANOVA analysis, it was found that both cutting speed and laser power were significant factors for HAZ and kerf depth, while laser power was the only significant factor for kerf angle. Besides, HAZ and the kerf depth showed similar sensitivity to the pulse energy and energy per unit length, which was opposite for kerf angle. This paper presented the feasibility and experimental results of cutting CFRP laminates using fibre laser, which is possibly the efficient and high-quality process to promote the development of CFRPs.
Applied Physics A: Materials Science Processing – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 22, 2018
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