Role of capillary and thermocapillary forces in laser polishing of metals

[+] Author and Article Information
Chi Zhang

School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

Jing Zhou

College of Mechanical Engineering, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, 200093, China

Hong Shen

School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, ChinaState Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration, Shanghai 200240, China

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4035468 History: Received June 20, 2016; Revised December 02, 2016


As one of emerging novel surface treatment techniques, laser polishing offers a cost-effective and efficient solution to reduce surface roughness of precision components at micro/meso scale. Although it has been applied for industrial and biomedical purposes, the underlying mechanism has not been fully revealed. This paper presents a study to understand the basic fundamentals of continuous wave fiber laser polishing of Ti6Al4V samples. A two-dimensional numerical model that coupled heat transfer and fluid flow is developed to illustrate the molten flow behavior. The roles of capillary and thermocapillary flow in the process of laser polishing are investigated to assist the understanding of the contributions of surface tension (capillary force) and Marangoni effect (thermocapillary force) in the polishing process. Capillary force dominates the molten pool at initial stage of melting while thermocapillary force becomes predominant when the molten pool fully develops.

Copyright (c) 2016 by ASME
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