Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) show high potential for use in lightweight applications not only in aircraft design, but also in the automotive or wind energy industry. However, processing of CFRP is complex and expensive due to their outstanding mechanical properties. One possibility to manufacture CFRP structures flexibly at acceptable process speeds is high-power laser cutting. Though showing various advantages such as contactless energy transfer, this process is connected to potentially hazardous emission of respirable dust and organic gases. Moreover, the emitted particles may be fibrous, thus requiring particular attention. Here, a systematic analysis of the hazardous substances emitted during laser cutting of CFRP with thermoplastic and thermosetting matrix is presented. The objective is to evaluate emission rates for the total particulate and gaseous fractions as well as for different organic key components. Furthermore, the influence of the laser process conditions shall be assessed, and first proposals to handle the emissions adequately are made.