We report on the laser cutting of carbon fiber reinforced thermo-plastic (CFRTP) and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) with a cw IR fiber laser (average power: 2 kW). CFRTP and CFRP are a composite material which contains carbon fibers and binding plastics. A well-defined 2D laser cutting of CFRTP and CFRP flat plates which were free of debris around the groove was performed by the laser irradiation with a fast beam galvanometer scanning on a multiple-scan-pass method. The area of laser-induced damages in the samples was observed by microscopic X-ray Computed Tomography. Laser cutting with a high speed beam scanning exhibits a clean top and an excellent sidewall quality along with a negligible heat affected zone. In addition, the laser cutting of CFRP for a three-dimensional molded sample was performed with a five-axis laser cutting machine.
The dual beam of cw-350 W single-mode near-IR fiber laser and ns-pulsed-35 W UV laser were used in the experiments
for cutting. The laser beam on the sample surface was scanned with a galvanometer scanner and focused with the f-theta
lens of 400 mm focal length for IR and UV laser irradiations. A prototype remote scanner head for the multiple laser
irradiations has been developed for a high-quality and high-speed laser processing of carbon fiber reinforced plastics
(CFRP). In this paper, we report on the laser trepanning of circular patterns on CFRP.
We report on the laser cutting of carbon fiber reinforced thermo-plastics (CFRTP) with a cw IR fiber laser (single-mode
fiber laser, average power: 350 W). CFRTP is a high strength composite material with a lightweight, and is increasingly
being used various applications. A well-defined cutting of CFRTP which were free of debris and thermal-damages
around the grooves, were performed by the laser irradiation with a fast beam galvanometer scanning on a multiple-scanpass
The power level of Yb doped fiber lasers which operate in continuous wave mode has been increasing in recent years and various kinds of applications using high power single-mode fiber lasers that oscillate in 1microns wavelength range were reported. Single-mode fiber laser that has excellent beam quality of less than 1.1 M2 value with kW class average power can be focused to tens of microns diameters and its optical power density at the focus point is more than 1×108 W/cm2. In this power density range, the interaction between 1microns laser light and matter, not only metal materials but non-metal materials, is completely different from that of lower level. The power density initiates laser processing of copper that has relatively high reflectivity at this wavelength range among metals and alumina base plate with over 90% reflectivity. Other interesting material which can be processed by this energy level is carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). On the other hand, for industrial application and further processing investigation, modulation speed is one of the most important factors because that relates to processing speed and precise control of laser energy input to a material. In this paper, we report on the power dependence of some material processing of copper wafer welding, alumina base plate scribing, and CFRP cutting using single-mode fiber laser which is capable of over 1kW peak power operation and has rapid switching time below 5 micro seconds.