Scholarly article on topic 'Micromachining of CFRP with Ultra-Short Laser Pulses'

Micromachining of CFRP with Ultra-Short Laser Pulses Academic research paper on "Materials engineering"

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{CFRP / Micromachining / "Ultra-short pulse"}

Abstract of research paper on Materials engineering, author of scientific article — M. Fujita, T. Somekawa, N. Miyanaga

Abstract We have been investigating material processing of CFRP with short pulse lasers in order to control mechanical and thermal damages. While ultra-short laser pulses enable us to process the CFRP without thermal damages, machining speed tends to be slow due to the limited average power of the laser system. Hence, we focus our attention on micromachining of sub- mm thick CFRP. Considering the excellent properties of carbon fibers, the CFRP has potentials to replace metals and would be useful for innovative devices in electronics industries. Micromachining of the thin composite material is advantageous to the ultra-short laser pulses.

Academic research paper on topic "Micromachining of CFRP with Ultra-Short Laser Pulses"

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Physics Procedia 41 (2013) 636 - 639

Lasers in Manufacturing Conference 2013

Micromachining of CFRP with ultra-short laser pulses

M. Fujitaa,b*, T. Somekawaa, N. Miyanagab

a Institute for Laser Technology, 2-6 Yamada-Oka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871 Japan _b Institute of Laser Engineering, Osaka University, 2-6 Yamada-Oka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871 Japan_

Abstract

We have been investigating material processing of CFRP with short pulse lasers in order to control mechanical and thermal damages. While ultra-short laser pulses enable us to process the CFRP without thermal damages, machining speed tends to be slow due to the limited average power of the laser system. Hence, we focus our attention on micromachining of sub-mm thick CFRP. Considering the excellent properties of carbon fibers, the CFRP has potentials to replace metals and would be useful for innovative devices in electronics industries. Micromachining of the thin composite material is advantageous to the ultra-short laser pulses.

© 2013 The Authors.Published byElsevierB.V.

Selection and/orpeer-review underresponsibility of theGermanScientificLaser Society(WLTe.V.) Keywords: CFRP; micromachining, ultra-short pulse

1. Motivation

It is well known that Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) has attractive features like high-durability, high-strength and light-weight. These features have been stimulating the CFRP to be applied for a wide variety of applications. For example, by using the CFRP as a body material of aircrafts and automobiles, it is expected to realize higher energy efficiency and hence lower carbon emission in transportations. Also in sports and recreations fields, fishing rods, golf club shafts and tennis rackets are familiar products of CFRP.

The CFRP is a composite material consisted of carbon fiber (CF) and polymer matrix. The features of CFRP come from the excellent mechanical properties of the CF [1]. The CFs are roughly categorized into PAN-type and pitch-type. The PAN-type CF is produced by carbonization of PAN (Polyacrylonitrile) precursor, and has high tensile strength and high elastic modulus, mainly applied for structural material in

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +81-6-6879-8732 ; fax: +81-6-6879-8732 . E-mail address: mfujita@ile.osaka-u.ac.jp .

1875-3892 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the German Scientific Laser Society (WLT e.V.) doi:10.1016/j.phpro.2013.03.127

aerospace and industrial field and sporting goods. On the other hands, the pitch-type CF is produced by carbonization of oil/coal pitch precursor, and has broad properties from low elastic modulus to ultra high elastic modulus. The pitch-type CFs with ultra high elastic modulus are extensively adopted in light-weight high-stiffness components, e.g. robot arms, which convey the glass panel of 10th generation. Especially, anisotropic pitch-type CF has high thermal conductivity (800W/mK), which is higher than copper (400W/mK), and could be used as a heat sink. Also coefficient of thermal expansion of the pitch-type CFRP is extremely low (-1.3x10~6°C), which is almost the same as graphite (-1.0—-1.3x10"6°C). The low heat expansion ratio is advantageous to dimensional stability in high temperature environment.

So far, applications of CFRP have been generally focused to reducing weight of structural components. Considering the excellent properties of carbon fibers mentioned above, however, the pitch-type CFRP has potentials to replace metals and would be useful for innovative devices in electronics industries.

We have been investigating material processing of the CFRP by ultra-short pulse lasers in order to control mechanical and thermal damages in the machining processes [2]. While ultra-short laser pulses enable us to process the CFRP without thermal damages, machining speed tends to be slow due to the limited average power of the laser system. Hence, we changed our interest to sub-mm thick CFRPs from those CFRPs, which thicknesses are from a few mm to an inch used for light-weight bodies of airplanes and automobiles. If the thickness of CFRP is thinner, laser machining time becomes shorter and material cost is less expensive. Micromachining of the thin composite material is advantageous to the ultra-short pulse lasers, as the CFRP cannot be processed by the photolithography and chemical etching.

As an example of applications, we got an innovative idea to use thin CFRP for an evaporation mask in electronics industries. Conventionally, a meter-sized metal mask, which weight is several hundred kilograms, is used in evaporation process for e.g. flat panel displays (FPD). If we replace the metal mask with the thin CFRP mask, the weight could become less than a kilogram. In addition to that, the CFRP mask has an advantage that the mask pattern is highly stable even in high temperature process due to the low coefficient of thermal expansion.

Fig. 1. A preliminary demonstration of slit-type mask with 500 u m-thick uni-directional CFRP.

2. Experimental

The laser system used in this study was a commercially available Ti: Sapphire laser (Spectra Physics, Hurricane). The fundamental wavelength, pulsewidth, repetition rate were 800nm, 100fs and 1kHz, respectively. For comparison, we also used 200ps stretched pulses from the Ti:Sapphire laser. Output power of 100fs pulses was 0.2W. CFRP samples used in experiments are uni-directional CFRPs with thickness of several 100|xms. The laser beam was focused with plano-convex lens (f=150mm).

Figure 1 shows a preliminary demonstration of a slit-type mask with 500pm-thick CFRP, where the 200ps laser beam was scanned along slit contours. The slit width and size of the mask was 100pm and 20mmx20mm, respectively. The orientation of the slits was parallel to the orientation of CFs.

3. Results and Discussion

Figure 2 shows cutting results of two slits on a 100^m-thick CFRP by 100fs laser pulses. They are optical microscope images of the front side (a) and the rear side (b). The slit width and pitch was 400(j.m and 500 (j.m, respectively. The laser beam was scanned 100 times along slit contours (0.4mmx28mm) and the scanning speed was 20mm/s. Between the two slits, 100|im-width CFRP was remained almost intact.

Fig. 2. Optical microscope images of two 400^m-width slits made on 100^m-thick uni-directional CFRP; (a) front side ; (b) rear side.

Figure 3 shows optical microscope images of slit-type mask with 100|im-thick uni-directional CFRP. The slit width and pitch was 300|xm and 500 pm, respectively. The laser beam was scanned 100 times along slit contours (0.25mmx29.5mm) and the scanning speed was 20mm/s. Now we are trying to evaluate feasibility of the slit-type CFRP mask with a size of 30mmx30mm in evaporation process.

So far, we confirmed that less than 30^m line width on 100pm-thick CFRP was possible. Further optimization of process parameters as well as material used in CFRP, both a type of CF and polymer matrix, and demonstrations of larger mask size will be necessary for the CFRP mask to be used in a FPD manufacturing process.

Fig. 3. Optical microscope images of slit-type mask with 100|j,m-thick uni-directional CFRP. The slit width was 300 (jm.

Acknowledgements

This work is partly supported by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan.

References

[1] The Japan Carbon Manufacturers Association: http://www.carbonfiber.gr.jp/english/index.html.

[2] M Fujita, T. Somekawa, T. Ozaki, M. Yoshida, and N. Miyanaga: Dual beam laser grooving of CFRP by pulsed lasers., 31st ICALEO, Anaheim, 2012.