How laser technology can contribute to foster a widespread use of advanced composite materials for light weight applications
SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10911: High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Applications, Diagnostics, and Systems VIII
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (non-reviewed)
An adequate use of finite resources is one of the greatest challenges of our times. To address this, lightweight concepts based on continuously fiber reinforced composites (FRC) are already being adapted for the transportation industry, especially within the automotive and the aerospace sectors. In order to broaden the use of lightweight composite structures and components, suitable processing, monitoring and control techniques are required for a variety of materials, constituting a prerequisite for economic, flexible and automated high volume production. In this regard, photonic technologies can provide valuable solutions. In this presentation, the latest developments within the field of FRC laser machining are summarized. For the processing of large structures such as resin transfer molding parts, combinations of galvo scanners with robots or axis systems are of particular interest. For this purpose, both high brightness cw fiber lasers and pulsed systems are used. Within the repair chain for valuable FRC parts, pulsed UV and NIR lasers are used for the precise removal of fiber layers in order to generate a defined scarfing. For both applications, disintegration of the fiber matrix interconnection due to thermal impact has to be avoided. Thermoplastic composites are becoming increasingly important for many industrial applications. In contrast to thermoset systems, welding techniques are particularly applicable. In this context, laser welding is not limited to the joining of transparent-absorbing-combinations, as it is required for conventional laser transmission welding processes but can be extended to the welding of structural parts consisting of high-performance carbon fiber reinforcements.