Lightweight structures, based on a combination of high stiffness fiber reinforced polymer materials and tailored part geometries can fulfill the worldwide market requirements for energy saving products. Advanced fiber production technologies, high fiber utilization degrees and fully integrated process chains have to be developed to overcome the actual cost limitations of these structures. Furthermore flexible and easily automated treatment processes are required.
The laser as a precise wear free tool enables flexibility and automation. It is well integrated into the global market of cutting and processing of metals. The cutting of fiber reinforced polymers by the conventional gas assisted fusion process leads to unacceptable edge qualities. Causes are the different sublimation or decomposition temperatures of the fibers and the matrix material and the high heat energy input. Here the laser Remote technology opens up new possibilities.
The technology remocut®FRP (Fiber Reinforced Polymer) developed at the Fraunhofer IWS enables laser cutting or ablating of high performance fiber reinforced materials with minimized heat influenced areas. A fast mirror system based on galvanometer scanners is used to rapidly project the laser beam onto the material. The mirrors work with high precision even at high path velocities. Accelerations of several 10 g are achievable. The high processing speeds guarantee short interaction times between material and beam. In combination with a multi cycle treatment the heat input at the processing area can be controlled. Using adapted ablation strategies cuts with high aspect ratio are possible within the working field of the scanner.
To guarantee a precise treatment, the equipment possesses a coaxial vision system. Using a dichroic mirror the camera system monitors the position and size of the part to be treated inside the scanner working field. The software calculates the deviations between programmed and real part geometry and adjusts the control code of the Remote system. Flexible and precise processing is the achievement.