Controlling the kerf properties of underwater laser cutting of stainless steel with 3 mm thickness using an Yb:YAG laser source in nuclear decommissioning processes
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
For nuclear decommissioning, the formation of secondary wastes has to be avoided to minimize the need for water and air filtering. Aiming at the minimization of material loss at cutting assignments, this study deploys an Yb:YAG laser for the underwater laser cutting of AISI304 (SS304) stainless steel samples with a thickness of 3 mm used in a range from 2 to 4 kW. Compressed air and nitrogen are applied as the cutting gases with a maximum of 6 bar. For studying the generation of waste material in the surrounding water, the influence of the process parameters on the kerf properties has been studied. Therefore, the characteristics of the resulting kerfs, particularly the weight loss and the occurring dross, were categorized and classified with respect to the weight loss of the samples. Regarding the application of nuclear decommissioning, a weight loss of more than 95 \% compared to conventional saw cutting was obtained due to the formation of adhering dross.