Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Laser methods gets better cuttings

With the development of composite and hybrid materials has come the need for alternative methods in dealing with them for industrial applications. One such area for example is in the cutting methods such materials require.
Laser methods gets better cuttings
Lasers are often employed by manufacturers of composite materials to cut these materials into certain shapes and/or sizes. Lasers however, often do not meet absolute specifications in that hybrid materials' surfaces react differently than standard materials to the application of heat.

Carbon-fibre composites for example, are notorious in their ability to dissipate heat. As such, when cutting with standard industrial lasers, the cutting arc or area can be wider than required, resulting in large proportions of wastage both of material and energy used.

A new development by an Andalusian research group has created a method whereby the heat-affected zone remains less than 150 microns. This alone, provides the method with a variety of advantages, making it applicable to a wider range of industrial uses.

Aside from this benefit, the technology also offers additional advantages in that it reduces the production of waste and improves occupational health and safety standards. Since the laser is more specific, it reduces operational costs, and can be easily introduced to other industrial concerns as it uses the same numerical controls as traditional machining.

Currently the developers are looking for interested industrial partners keen on incorporating the methodology into their production processes.
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