Laser repair of CFRP materials

Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) have a high strength and stiffness, and are very light. Thus, this lightweight construction material is predestined for future applications in the automobile and aeronautic industries. However, the material CFRP is a challenge for conventional manufacturing technologies. Current processes for cutting, such as milling or water jet cutting, either lead to high tool wear, or they require water and an abrasive material. The cut edges absorb moisture, or they are damaged by foreign particles.

In order to manufacture automobiles based on CFRP in large numbers, automated production technologies are necessary, especially for cutting this lightweight material. In comparison to conventional technologies, the laser can be used for highly precise, reproducible processing. Since processing is non-tactile, there is no material-dependent tool wear, and even complex and sensitive structures can be cut using the laser. The LZH is currently researching laser processes for manufacturing two and three-dimensional CFRP structures.

Dr.-Ing. Peter Jäschke
Head of Composites Group
Production and Systems Department
Phone: +49 511 2788-432