P. Jäschke
S. Blümel
S. Bastick
U. Stute
D. Kracht

Evaluation of cutting edge characteristics during laser processing of continuous carbon fibre reinforced composites

International Symposium on Laser Processing for CFRP and Composite Materials (LPCC)
26.-27. April
Type: Konferenzbeitrag
Continuous carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) are representing significant materials for all branches of the industry where large masses have to be moved or weight has to be saved. Besides the field of mobility, including the aircraft, the automotive, and the marine sector, the need of CFRP components is particularly increasing within the field of energy, e.g. wind turbines. To meet the requirements of efficient component productions in the area of CFRP, fast and cost-efficient technologies are sought. During the manufacturing of carbon fibre reinforced structures, a key process step is the high-speed cutting of bulk materials. Despite the fact that lasers, as thermally acting tools, may damage the fibre-matrix-structure, laser cutting using high-power laser offers many advantages, such as no wear and no moisture uptake. However, due to the different heat conduction properties of the matrix and the reinforcements, laser cutting could partially damage the structural properties of CFRP. Therefore, the authors present investigations on the influence of laser cutting on the resulting edge characteristics, including an analysis of the heat affected zone and the static strength properties of laser machined specimens compared to conventionally samples prepared by milling. Depending on the laminate thickness, the laser treated samples show comparable properties to those of conventionally processed specimens. In order to minimize the influence of the thermal impact of the cutting process with respect to damaged areas within the bulk material, additional in-situ sealing experiments are performed. Therefore, a nozzle is mounted to the laser head in such a way, that thermoplastic powder is blown into the cutting kerf, sealing the cutting edge.