J. Keuntje
S. Mrzljak
L. Gerdes
V. Wippo
S. Kaierle
F. Walther
P. Jäschke

Finite Element Simulation and Experimental Assessment of Laser Cutting Unidirectional CFRP at Cutting Angles of 45° and 90°

Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
Laser cutting of carbon fibre-reinforced plastics (CFRP) is a promising alternative to traditional manufacturing methods due to its non-contact nature and high automation potential. To establish the process for an industrial application, it is necessary to predict the temperature fields arising as a result of the laser energy input. Elevated temperatures during the cutting process can lead to damage in the composite's matrix material, resulting in local changes in the structural properties and reduced material strength. To address this, a three-dimensional finite element model is developed to predict the temporal and spatial temperature evolution during laser cutting. Experimental values are compared with simulated temperatures, and the cutting kerf geometry is examined. Experiments are conducted at 45° and 90° cutting angles relative to the main fibre orientation using a 1.1 mm thick epoxy-based laminate. The simulation accurately captures the overall temperature field expansion caused by multiple laser beam passes over the workpiece. The influence of fibre orientation is evident, with deviations in specific temperature data indicating differences between the estimated and real material properties. The model tends to overestimate the ablation rate in the kerf geometry, attributed to mesh resolution limitations. Within the parameters investigated, hardly any expansion of a heat affected zone (HAZ) is visible, which is confirmed by the simulation results.