Laser Perforating Carbon Fibre Composite Materials.

My last blog reflected on our history. This blog looks into new materials and the wonders we have yet to explore.

I recently read an interesting article in the Australian Manufactures’ Monthly on the steady growth of composite materials.

The author was Dr. Paul Falzon, the Program Manager for Manufacturing & Test at the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures.  Paul noted, “As demand for high performance, reduced weight and better corrosion resistance material grows, the move towards composite material grows”.  From Paul’s article came the challenge to us at Action Laser – could we use our Nd-YAG lasers to perforate carbon fibre composite materials??   Paul was very kind to forward us two pieces of carbon fibre composite material.

The first sample did not have any obvious carbon fibre weave.  This material displayed all the perforation characteristics that we see when laser drilling stainless steel. We see in the images below, excellent 100 micron holes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second sample contained a carbon fibre cross weave which is evident in the photo images.  You can see the areas where the Nd-YAG laser perforation has dislodged the epoxy outer coating on the weave.  There appears to be heat transference through the weave which we believe can be mitigated by varying the drilling parameters

Material Thickness was 1mm.

We are encouraged by these initial results, which suggest that our Nd-YAG laser process may be used to perforate carbon fibre composite materials.  Should you have an interest in this specialized area, we look forward to your comments.

Bevan Rashford
CEO ActionLaser
bevan@actionlaser.com.au