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Remote laser cutting of open cell foams - Processes for the factory of the future

: Baumann, Robert; Herwig, Patrick; Wetzig, Andreas; Beyer, Eckhard


Science and technology of advanced materials 30 (2018), No.1, pp.60-66
ISSN: 1468-6996
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF (Deutschland)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWS ()
Laser; Remote; cutting; Open-cell solid foam; steel

It is well known that the global climate change is the largest challenge for the society of the 21st century. For managing the resulting consequences, innovative materials become more and more important. Open cell metal foam contributes promising solutions to light-weight design, battery applications and renewable energy harvesting. Still, challenges are present concerning the cutting into a defined shape. Remote laser cutting offers a solution for decreasing the production costs as well as the needed component accuracy. Our investigations reveal that this technique has a high potential concerning cutting speed of open cell aluminum foam, which was increased by more than 500% compared to state-of-the-art laser separation. Furthermore, different material thicknesses up to 20 mm were investigated. Additionally, the limit of the possible contour wall width was decreased to less than the size of one pore. This paper offers insight into the viability of remote laser cutting in overcoming the challenges dealing with mechanical milling or grinding. Investigating the process concerning thermal stress input as well as particle attachments will be the next steps in the future.