Research Papers

Novel Laser/Water-Jet Hybrid Manufacturing Process for Cutting Ceramics

[+] Author and Article Information
Raathai Molian, Clayton Neumann, Pranav Shrotriya

Laboratory for Lasers, MEMS and Nanotechnology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-2161

Pal Molian1

Laboratory for Lasers, MEMS and Nanotechnology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-2161molian@iastate.edu




Corresponding author.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 130(3), 031008 (May 06, 2008) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2844592 History: Received October 13, 2006; Revised November 08, 2007; Published May 06, 2008

Laser and water-jet manufacturing processes are independently used to cut monolithic and composite ceramics. While these processes offer many advantages over diamond sawing and other abrasive processes, the energy efficiency, precision, cutting speed, and environmental threats remain as barriers to their continued success. This is partly attributed to the material removal mechanisms, which are melting, and subsequent evaporation (laser) and energy-intensive erosive wear (water jet). In this paper, we describe a novel laser and water-jet (LWJ) hybrid manufacturing process that enables the synergistic effects of CO2 laser and pressurized pure water jet, facilitating precise material removal by thermal shock-induced fracture and overcoming the deficiencies listed above. Experiments of the LWJ effects on the cutting of aluminum nitride, an electronic ceramic substrate, are presented. The most exciting results are very narrow kerf dictated by the crack width; the absence of thermally affected zone, slag formation, chemical decomposition; and controlled thermal cracking, implying that the LWJ process is far superior to conventional laser cutting of ceramics. The LWJ process also improved the surface finish while reducing energy losses in the process. The practical realization of the LWJ manufacturing process could be a potential alternative to diamond saw, high-power laser, and high-pressure abrasive water-jet methods for machining hard and brittle ceramics.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of laser/water-jet manufacturing process

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Figure 10

Crack-cut showing (a) top-view showing clean cut; (b) transverse section of crack cut showing water spots near the top

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Figure 11

X-ray spectrum showing the elements Ca, K, Cl, and S in the water spots (a) Slag-cut, thickness direction (b) Slag-cut, Iongitudinal direction

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Figure 12

Surface profilometer traces of slag-cut sample in transverse and longitudinal directions; (a) Slag-cut, thickness direction; (b) Slag-cut, longitudinal direction

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Figure 13

Surface profilometer traces of crack-cut sample in transverse and logitudinal directions; (a) Crack-cut, thickness direction; (b) Crack-cut, longitudinal direction

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Figure 14

Schematic representation of thermomechanical analysis model of laser/water-jet machining

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Figure 15

(a) Temperature history of a point of y=0.03m from the specimen edge; (b) stress history of point y=0.03mm from the specimen edge; (c) thermal stress distribution across thickness of AlN wafer corresponding to maximum tensile stress on surface

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Figure 2

Solid model sketch of laser/water-jet head (red arrow marks indicate water passage)

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Figure 3

Photographs of the LWJ brass nozzle; (a) entry side with a stainless steel orifice; (b) exit side where the distance between the beam and water-jet is 4mm

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Figure 4

Photograph of complete laser/water-jet cutting head

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Figure 5

Effect of energy density on the type of cutting mechanism in aluminum nitride

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Figure 6

Top views of conventional laser-cut aluminum nitride: (a) P∕DV=295J∕mm2; (b) P∕DV=236J∕mm2; (c) P∕DV=197J∕mm2)

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Figure 7

Transverse views of conventional laser-cut aluminum nitride (P∕DV=197J∕mm2)

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Figure 8

Top views of scribe-cut aluminum nitride in LWJ process (P∕DV=3.28J∕mm2)

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Figure 9

Transverse section of scribe-cut aluminum nitride in LWJ process showing aluminum oxide layer of about 15μm at the top (P∕DV=4.92J∕mm2)




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