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Dimensional analyses and surface quality of pulsed UV laser micro-machining of STAVAX stainless steel mold inserts

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Abstract

Laser micro-machining is a new, precise, and very flexible process in micro-mold manufacturing, especially for difficult to machine material, i.e., hardened steel. The aim of the work reported in this paper was to utilize response surface methodology to optimize the dimensional accuracy and surface finish for STAVAX stainless steel mold inserts in the pulsed UV laser micro-machining. The influence of laser machining parameters on the ablated depth and surface roughness of the machined mold inserts have been experimentally investigated. The parameters of insert quality are analyzed under varying laser power, pulse frequency, hatched spacing, scan rate, and number of passes. The settings of the laser micro-machining parameters are determined by using design of experiments method. The analysis of variance, and regression analyses are employed to find the optimal levels and to analyze the effect of the parameters on the depth accuracy values and surface finish. Confirmation experiments with the optimal levels of micro-machining parameters are carried out in order to illustrate the effectiveness of the multi-optimization method. The validity of regression approach to process optimization is well established.

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Correspondence to Lee Mein Wee.

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Wee, L.M., Lim, G.C. & Zheng, H.Y. Dimensional analyses and surface quality of pulsed UV laser micro-machining of STAVAX stainless steel mold inserts. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 57, 1011–1027 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-011-3348-9

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Keywords

  • Laser micro-machining
  • Ablation depth
  • Surface roughness
  • RSM