Ultraviolet Laser Cleaning of Carbon Fiber Composites
Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) are composite materials that offer a highly desirable combination of physical strength and light weight. Originally developed primarily for aerospace applications, they can now be found in products ranging from automobiles, sailboats, and racing bicycles to golf clubs. Adhesives are often used to join individual CFRP pieces in an assembly because bonding offers several advantages over mechanical fastening methods. However, achieving a high strength adhesive bond can be frustrated by the presence of surface contaminants. A variety of techniques have been employed to clean CFRPs prior to bonding, but each of these methods has limitations in terms of either speed, complexity or the need for subsequent cleaning. Excimer laserbased surface cleaning and ablation now offers a practical alternative which yields a pristine surface with the requisite characteristics for adhesive bonding. This article reviews how excimer laser cleaning is implemented and discusses the results of bond strength testing performed using this technology.
Keywordsexcimer laser carbon fiber composite pretreatment adhesive bonding