Laser Bending of Thin Metal Sheets by Means of a Low Power CO2 Laser 537

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Lubiano, Gigliola
Ramon, Jorge A.
Magee, Johnathan

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An experimental study of the deformation phenomena during laser bending of 0.5 mm metal sheets is presented here. The thermal gradient mechanism, i.e. ratio of the laser beam diameter to the sheet thickness less than unity, was used to bend the samples. The sheets, which are made of 304 stainless steel, 1100 aluminum and 1010 carbon steel, were scanned with a focused CO2 laser beam for several times. Optical power of the laser ranged from 64 to 95 W and its maximum traverse speed was 15 mm/s. Results are presented as plots of the bending angle vs. number of scans (i.e. 2θ-N curves). Understanding of this novel forming process is crucial in order to find applications for it in the rapid prototyping field.



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