This paper deals with the application of Nd-YAG laser emitting at 355nm to the drilling process of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polyetheretherkethone (PEEK-CF) laminates. The combination of a modern UV-laser source with a scanning technology enabling deflection speeds up to 2m/s, suppresses heat affected zones (HAZ) and consequently detachment of fibers from the polymer matrix. The results show that minimum HAZ (about 50 μm) is achievable in machining of CFRP composite by using short pulsed UV laser. The study found that heat is easily accumulated in the material during laser processing, especially when the carbon fibres are chopped into small pieces. The paper discusses how to make use of the heat accumulation and how to avoid its potential damage to the workpiece by modulating the energy density input. Hatching of superimposed layers of materials is proposed as alternative technique to trepanning for drilling 1 mm to 5 mm holes on a 2.5 mm thick PEEK-CF laminate.
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