The experimental investigation of water jet–guided laser cutting of CFRP
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Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) is now applied widely in various industries because of its excellent properties. Cutting CFRP by laser is now attractive owing to its wear-free, contactless and flexible processing characteristics and has been investigated by several research groups; however, there is no report about cutting CFRP with water jet–guided laser. Water jet–guided laser, as a compound machining method, has potential advantages in reducing heat-affected zone (HAZ) and increasing cutting depth. Therefore, three approaches of water jet–guided laser cutting of CFRP were conducted in this paper to study the feasibility and characteristics of the process. The experimental results of multi-pass cutting with and without parallel passes illustrated that the features of water jet–guided laser cutting of CFRP were significantly different from a dry laser. The water jet played an important role not only in reducing HAZ but also in the propagation of laser, which resulted in the different shapes of cross-sections. Due to the particularity of water jet–guided laser, the influence of the last pass on the surface quality was studied. The experimental results showed that water jet–guided laser had a finishing effect on the final workpiece surface, just like the trim cut in wire electric discharge machining. All in all, water jet–guided laser technique is a potential processing method for CFRP and the follow-up researches should be conducted.
KeywordsCFRP Water jet–guided laser Laser cutting HAZ
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This work was supported by the National Key Fund of China (Grant No.: 61409230307) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.: 51575308).
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