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Laser micromachining of composites

News International-French

22 Feb 2013

JEC Europe - Alphanov has developed innovative laser processes for machining composite materials with ultimate precision and quality.

For several decades, composite materials have gradually replaced metals in many industrial applications. Thanks to improved processes to shape and machine composites, production costs and time have significantly decreased, allowing use in many fields such as automotive, aeronautics, and other fields requiring light-weight constructions.


However, processing of composites remains a challenge: the specific stack structures of carbon fibres impregnated in a highly abrasive and heat-sensitive plastic matrix is a constraint for many machining schemes. In addition, traditional machining technologies involve contact forces that can induce delamination between the finer layers.
Alphanov has developed innovative laser processes for machining composite materials with ultimate precision and quality. Laser processing is inherently non-contact, which drastically reduces the risk of delamination. The main challenge lies in managing the energy deposition to limit thermal degradation caused by the heat transferred along the carbon fibres. Based on its extensive laser fleet, Alphanov has developed a deep understanding of the light-matter interaction phenomena and recently studied the influence of energy density on the extent of the heat affected zone, the ablation rate and the quality of machining. This helps choosing the right process parameters for the right material in order to fulfil the requirements with high-quality and fast processing times.


More information: www.alphanov.com
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