P. Jäschke
K. Stolberg
S. Bastick
E. Ziolkowski
M. Röhner
O. Suttmann
L. Overmeyer

Cutting and drilling of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) by 70 W short pulse nanosecond laser

SPIE Photonics West: LASE
1.-6. Februar
San Francisco
Type: Konferenzbeitrag
Continuous carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) are recognized as having a significant lightweight construction potential for a wide variety of industrial applications. However, a today‘s barrier for a comprehensive dissemination of CFRP structures is the lack of economic, quick and reliable manufacture processes, e.g. the cutting and drilling steps. In this paper, the capability of using pulsed disk lasers in CFRP machining is discussed. In CFRP processing with NIR lasers, carbon fibers show excellent optical absorption and heat dissipation, contrary to the plastics matrix. Therefore heat dissipation away from the laser focus into the material is driven by heat conduction of the fibres. The matrix is heated indirectly by heat transfer from the fibres. To cut CFRP, it is required to reach the melting temperature for thermoplastic matrix materials or the disintegration temperature for thermoset systems as well as the sublimation temperature of the reinforcing fibers simultaneously. One solution for this problem is to use short pulse nanosecond lasers. We have investigated CFRP cutting and drilling with such a laser (max. 7 mJ @ 10 kHz, 30 ns). This laser offers the opportunity of wide range parameter tuning for systematic process optimization. By applying drilling and cutting operations based on galvanometer scanning techniques in multi-cycle mode, excellent surface and edge characteristics in terms of delamination-free and intact fiber-matrix interface were achieved. The results indicate that nanosecond disk laser machining could consequently be a suitable tool for the automotive and aircraft industry for cutting and drilling steps.