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TitleSLCR laser material processing for controlled removal of CFRP as the first step in the repair chain
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSchulz, O.G., and Saunders P.
Conference NameInternational SAMPE Technical Conference
Date Published2012
KeywordsCarbon dioxide, COMPOSITE MATERIALS, Exhibitions, Laser material processing, Laser treatment, Material application, Material strength, Repair, Screening programs, Significant differences, Structural repairs, Surface preparation
AbstractFor lightweight structures, new materials are increasingly specified to save weight and fuel. Although different composite materials have been used with success, there are still great challenges regarding maintenance or unavoidable structural repair issues. Lasers have been used for several composite material applications, mainly surface preparation for painting and paint removal. The gentle treatment of composites by SLCR TEA-CO2 lasers has been well proven over the past 10 years. The advantages in comparison with other processes are known and confirmed. In this study, SLCR Lasertechnik and GKN Aerospace performed a joint screening program to investigate whether the laser process could be used to remove layers of composite materials to effect repairs. The intention was to achieve a controlled abrasion similar to a manual process to prepare the substrate for the application of a repair patch. A comparison of completed repairs from the material investigations showed no significant difference in integrity. However, the laser treatment provided better process control with less scatter in material strength values. This paper will describe the general principle and show results of tests performed with a SLCR LMP system for automated laser material processing.

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