Abstract

The application of a thermal source in non-contact forming of sheet metal has long been used. However, the replacement of this thermal source with a laser beam promises much greater controllability of the process. This yields a process with strong potential for application in aerospace, shipbuilding, automobile, and manufacturing industries, as well as the rapid manufacturing of prototypes and adjustment of misaligned components. Forming is made possible through laser-induced non-uniform thermal stresses. In this letter, we use the geometrical transition from rectangular to circle-shaped specimen and ring-shaped specimen to observe the effect of geometry on deformation in laser forming. We conduct a series of experiments on a wide range of specimen geometries. The reasons for this behavior are also analyzed. Experimental results are compared with simulated values using the software ABAQUS. The utilization of line energy is found to be higher in the case of laser forming along linear irradiation than along curved ones. We also analyze the effect of strain hindrance. The findings of the study may be useful for the inverse problem, which involves acquiring the process parameters for a known target shape of a wide range of complex shape geometries.

© 2011 Chinese Optics Letters

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