Research Papers

Laser Cutting of Aluminum Foam: Experimental and Model Studies

[+] Author and Article Information
Bekir Sami Yilbas

Professor of Mechanical Engineering,
e-mail: bsyilbas@kfupm.edu.sa

S. S. Akhtar

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering,
e-mail: ssakhtar@kfupm.edu.sa
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
KFUPM Box 1913,
Dhahran 31261,
Saudi Arabia

Omer Keles

Professor of Mechanical Engineering,
Gazi Universitesi
Engineering Faculty,
Gazi University,
Ankara, Turkey
e-mail: keles.omer@gmail.com

Manuscript received July 5, 2012; final manuscript received February 26, 2013; published online September 18, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Robert Landers.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 135(5), 051018 (Sep 18, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: MANU-12-1201; doi: 10.1115/1.4025009 History: Received July 05, 2012; Revised February 26, 2013

Laser cutting of aluminum foam with 9 mm thickness is carried out and thermal stress field developed in the cut section is simulated using finite element code. Morphological changes in the cut section are examined through optical and scanning electron microscopes. The oxide compounds formed at the cut section during the cutting are identified using X-ray diffraction. It is found that parallel sided cut edges are resulted during laser cutting. The maximum von Mises stress in the cut section is on the order of few MPa, which is close to the yielding limit of the workpiece material. Some small scattered sideways burning resulting in local thermal erosion along the cut edges is observed.

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Fig. 1

A schematic view of laser cutting process and location of thermocouple

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Fig. 2

Temporal variation of surface temperature and thermocouple data

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Fig. 3

(a) Temperature distribution along the x-axis for different cooling periods and (b) temperature distribution along the x-axis for different cooling periods at the bottom surface

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Fig. 4

Temperature contours in the workpiece onset of cooling period

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Fig. 5

(a) von Mises stress distribution along the x-axis for different cooling periods and (b) von Mises stress distribution along the x-axis at the bottom surface for different cooling periods

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Fig. 6

von Mises contours in the workpiece onset of cooling period

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Fig. 7

Temperature distribution along the z-axis for different cooling periods

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Fig. 8

Temperature distribution along the z-axis for different cooling periods

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Fig. 9

Optical photograph of laser cut sections: (a) Cross-section of the cut section in small magnification, (b) cross-section close to the top surface, (c) cross-section in the center of workpiece, (d) top view of the cut, and (e) cross-section close to bottom surface

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Fig. 10

SEM micrographs of top and kerf surfaces of the cutting sections

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Fig. 11

XRD diffractogram of laser cut surface




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