Laser-Based Manufacturing Processes for Aerospace Applications

Laser-Based Manufacturing Processes for Aerospace Applications

Panos Stavropoulos (Hellenic Air Force Academy, Greece), Angelos Koutsomichalis (Hellenic Air Force Academy, Greece) and Nikos Vaxevanidis (School of Pedagogical and Technological Education, Greece)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0329-3.ch002
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In this chapter the latest developments in Laser manufacturing technologies and processes, used in the aerospace industry, are discussed. Current developments in the aerospace industry are characterised by the reduction of manufacturing and exploitation costs. Thus, the need for implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies and processes in the aeronautic industry, offering cost effective products with improved life cycle, is becoming more and more imperative. Lasers can be used in many industrial machining processes for a variety of materials including metals, ceramics, glass, plastics, and composites. Laser beams, used as machining tools, are not accompanied by problems such as tool wear, tool breakage, chatter, machine deflection and mechanically induced material damage, phenomena that are usually associated with traditional machining processes. The effectiveness of Lasers depends on the thermal nature of the machining process. Nevertheless, difficulties arise due to the difference in the thermal properties of the various components.
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Laser Material Removal

Mechanical material removal processes are the backbone of industrial manufacturing practice. These processes provide a great deal of flexibility, since the shape of the tool and the kinematics of the tool and workpiece define the geometry of the part. The material removal mechanism is a very important aspect of removing processes. As per Chryssolouris, 2005 the basic material removal processes, rely in one or more of the below mentioned mechanisms:

  • Mechanical: The mechanical stresses induced by a tool surpass the strength of the material

  • Thermal: Thermal energy provided by a heat source melts and/or vaporizes the volume of the material to be removed

  • Electrochemical: Electrochemical reactions induced by an electrical field destroy the atomic bonds of the material to be removed.

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