Analysis of Laser Forming
OF LASER APPLICATIONS VOLUME 15, NUMBER 4, PAGES 225 -
P. Edwardson, K. G. Watkins, G. Dearden, P. French, J.
Laser Group, Department of Engineering,
The University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 3GH, United
(*Currently at: National Centre for Laser Applications,
NUI Galway, Ireland)
forming has become a viable process for the shaping of
metallic components, as a means of rapid prototyping and
of adjusting and aligning. The laser forming process is
of significant value to industries that previously relied
on expensive stamping dies and presses for prototype evaluations.
This investigation aims to complement the considerable
amount of work already completed on two-dimensional laser
forming, offering an insight into the mechanical behaviour
of a part during the process using a strain gauge analysis
technique. The investigation was performed on Mild Steel
CR4 sheet using a CO2 laser source. It includes empirical
investigations to determine optimum processing parameters
using the temperature gradient mechanism, thermocouple
analysis to locate ideal strain gauge placement for temperature
compensation and strain gauge analysis of the transverse
localised strains at a number of locations on the surface
of the sheet during single and multi-pass laser forming.
The results of the investigation demonstrate the relative
complexity of the process even during a simple straight-line
bend and that a residual strain component remains in the
sheet after processing.