Phenolic resin boards (PRB) are wood substitutes that comprises of a thick core exclusively made of phenolic resin covered by a thin sheet of melamine resin imitating the aspect of natural wood. The use of these materials in furniture and in construction industry has proliferated during last years. Boards made of phenolic resins are dense, hard and very difficult to cut using band saws, disc saws, or milling cutters. Nevertheless, these difficulties can be overcome by means of laser cutting, which is one of the most firmly established techniques for separating materials. This is due to the great advantages of this technique over traditional cutting methods, such as its versatility and flexibility that allow effective cutting. Nevertheless, charring of the cut edge surface caused by laser induced thermal degradation degrades the cut quality under non-optimized processing conditions. In this research work the viability and quality of CO<sub>2</sub> laser cutting process of phenolic resin boards and wood particleboard panels has been evaluated. The present work validates the cut of phenolic resin boards by CO<sub>2</sub> lasers using a high laser power and elevated cutting speeds. Moreover, this process involves a serious health hazard since the combustion and decomposition of wood may produce fumes and vapors, which can be toxic and carcinogenic according to the International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSC). Therefore, this work was complemented by the assessment of the potential toxicity of the condensed residues formed on the cut edges, and assessment of the chemistry of the generated fumes by chromatography.
Rapid prototyping based on laser cladding is an additive manufacturing (AM) process based on the overlapping of cladding tracks to produce functional components. Powder or wire are fed into a melting pool created using laser radiation as a heat source and the relative movement between the beam and the work piece makes possible to generate pieces layer-by-layer. This technique can be applied for any material which can be melted and the components can be manufactured directly according to a computer aided design (CAD) model. Additive manufacturing is particularly interesting to produce titanium components because, in this case, the loss of material produced by subtractive manufacturing methods is highly costly. Moreover, titanium and its alloys are widely used in biomedical, aircraft, chemical and marine industries due to their biocompatibility, excellent corrosion resistance and superior strength-to-weight ratio. In this research work, a near-infrared laser delivering a maximum power of 500W is used to produce pure titanium thin parts. Dimensions and surface morphology are characterized using Optical Microscopy (OM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), the hardness by nanoindentation and the composition by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS). The aim of this work is to establish the conditions under which satisfactory properties are obtained and to understand the relationship between microstructure/properties and deposition parameters.
Osseointegration is the mean challenge when surgical treatments fight against load-bearing bone diseases. Absolute bone replacement by a synthetic implant has to be completed not only from the mechanics point of view, but also from a biological approach. Suitable strength, resilience and stress distribution of titanium alloy implants are spoiled by the lack of optimal biological characteristics. The inert quality of extra low interstitial titanium alloy, which make it the most attractive metallic alloy for biomedical applications, oppose to an ideal surface with bone cell affinity, and capable to stimulate bone attachment bone growth. Diverse laser treatments have been proven as effective tools to modify surface properties, such as wettability in contact to physiological fluids, or osteoblast guided and slightly enhanced attachment. The laser surface cladding can go beyond by providing titanium alloy surfaces with osteoconduction and osteoinduction properties. In this research work, the laser radiation is used to produce bioactive glass coatings on Ti6Al4V alloy substrates. Specific silicate bioactive glass compositions has been investigated to achieve suitable surface tension and viscosity temperature behavior during processing, and to provide with the required release of bone growth gene up regulation agents in the course of resorption mediated by physiological fluids. The produced coatings and interfaces, the surface osteoconduction properties, and the chemical species release in simulated physiological fluid were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), hot stage microscopy (HSM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X ray fluorescence (XRF), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).