SME Logo

A Hybrid Laser/Waterjet Cutting Process for Brittle Materials

Author(s)/Editor(s): Chris Barnes, Pal A Molian PhD, Dr Pranav Shrotriya

Pages in Print Edition: 10PP

Published: 06/09/2006
Product ID:

SME Members: $ 0.00
Non members: $ 15.00


The synergistic effects of coupling laser and waterjet on the material removal mechanism and energy efficiency were investigated in cutting of glass, silicon and concrete. A hybrid laser/waterjet (LWJ) manufacturing process was utilized to machine samples at low pressures of waterjet (<100 psi) and low powers (<500 W) of CO2 laser and results were compared to the samples that were cut with just laser alone.The waterjet enabled the laser beam to cut the materials by thermal stress fracturing and washing away the debris from the kerf. It was found that glass and silicon acted very similar to each other and produced good quality cuts. However, the hybrid method had a relatively smaller effect on concrete. The proposed mechanism involves induction of compressive stresses during laser heating followed by a change in stress field to tension during waterjet cooling, leading to crack initiation and growth from the top to bottom surface. Due to the LWJ capability of removing material by thermally shock-induced fracture rather than energy-intensive erosive wear (waterjet) or melting and subsequent evaporation (laser), it offers potential benefits such as reduced energy, increased cutting speed, improved accuracy and finish and controlled depth and shape. Authors: C. Barnes, P. Shrotriya, P. Molian (Iowa State University)