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State-Of-The-Art and Trends in CO 2 Laser Cutting of Polymeric Materials—A Review

Authors
  • Mushtaq, Ray Tahir1
  • Wang, Yanen1
  • Rehman, Mudassar1, 2
  • Khan, Aqib Mashood3
  • Mia, Mozammel4
  • 1 (M.R.)
  • 2 Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore 54890, Pakistan
  • 3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Khwaja Fareed University of Engineering and Information Technology (KFUEIT), Rahim Yar Khan 64200, Pakistan
  • 4 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, Exhibition Rd., South Kensington, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Type
Published Article
Journal
Materials
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Aug 31, 2020
Volume
13
Issue
17
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ma13173839
PMID: 32878119
PMCID: PMC7503707
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Review
License
Green

Abstract

Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser cutting finds one of its most relevant applications in the processing of a wide variety of polymeric materials like thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics. Different types of polymeric materials like polypropylene (PP), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), low- and high-density polyethylene (LDPE, HDPE), are processed by laser for different household as well as commercial products in the industry. The reason is their easy availability and economical aspect in the market. The problems associated with laser cutting include heat-affected zone (HAZ) generated on the cut surface, kerf width (KW), surface roughness (SR), dross formation, and striations formation. Furthermore, other related problems include taper cutting for deep parts and high-power consumption. The primary purpose of this work is a comprehensive literature review in CO2 laser cutting of polymeric materials. The influence of parametric variation on the cut quality is also explained. Cut quality in terms of KW, SR, HAZ, dross formation, and striations formation is analyzed by optimizing cutting variables like laser power (PL), cutting speed (CS), assist gas pressure (Pg), pulse frequency, nozzle type and its diameter, and stand-off distance (SOD). The effects of the laser cutting on the properties of different thermoplastics/thermosetting materials are also reported. However, this topic requires further studies on exploring the range of polymeric materials, and their optimal parameters selection to improve the cut quality. Therefore, the research gaps and future research directions are also highlighted in the context of CO2 laser cutting for polymeric materials.

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