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**Meung Jung Kim
**

*

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA

Received 1 June 2004; received in revised form 1 December 2004; accepted 8 February 2005

Available online 17 May 2005

Abstract

A three-dimensional computational model of evaporative laser-cutting process has been developed using

a ﬁnite element method. Steady heat transfer equation is used to model the laser-cutting process with a

moving laser. The laser is assumed continuous wave Gaussian beam. The ﬁnite element surfaces on eva-

poration side are nonplanar and approximated by bilinear polynomial surfaces. Semi-inﬁnite elements

are introduced to approximate the semi-inﬁnite domain. An iterative scheme is used to handle the geometric

nonlinearity due to the unknown groove shape. The convergence studies are performed for various meshes.

Numerical results about groove shapes and temperature distributions are presented and also compared with

those by semi-analytical methods.

Ó 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Finite element method; Evaporative laser cutting; Geometric nonlinearity; Groove shapes; Semi-inﬁnite

elements

1. Introduction

The laser that was invented in 60s has found applications in many manufacturing processes pri-

marily due to its precision process and high intensity [1–3]. The quality of the laser cut is of the

utmost importance in laser processing because it would lead to an elimination of post-machining

operations. Any improvement in laser cut quality would be of considerable signiﬁcance.

0307-904X/$ - see front matter Ó 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.apm.2005.02.015

*

Tel.: +1 815 753 9965/9979; fax: +1 815 753 0416.

E-mail address: kim@ceet.niu.edu

www.elsevier.com/locate/apm

Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954

Nomenclature

Bi Biot number

c speciﬁc heat

h

ig

heat of sublimation

h convection heat transfer coeﬃcient

^

i;

^

k unit vectors in the X- and Z-directions, respectively

I

0

laser power density at the center of the beam

k thermal conductivity

^n unit outward surface normal

N

e

evaporation parameter

N

k

conduction parameter

q

k

conduction heat ﬂux

q

h

convection heat ﬂux

q

ig

heat ﬂux due to material evaporation

q

L

heat ﬂux due to laser radiation

R

o

laser beam radius at the focal point

S(X, Y) groove depth

s(x, y) non-dimensional groove depth

S

1

ﬁnal groove depth

T temperature

T

1

ambient temperature

T

evap

evaporation temperature

t non-dimensional time

u non-dimensional laser moving velocity

U moving specimen or laser velocity

x, y, z dimensionless spatial coordinates

X, Y, Z spatial coordinates

x

1

, x

2

, z

1

, z

2

nodal coordinates of an element

x

F

, y

F

, z

F

half the x, y, z-dimensions of the specimen

x

min

, x

max

starting and ending x-coordinates of melting region on the specimen

z

i

surface nodal z-coordinate at ith position

z

new

i

new surface nodal z-coordinate at ith position

z

new

i

; z

old

i

! z

actual

i

actual nodal z-coordinate for iterative computation

Greek letters

a

o

absorptivity

a thermal diﬀusivity

e convergence limit for temperature and position

1, g, n dimensionless spatial coordinates of a ﬁeld point

q density

h dimensionless temperature

M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954 939

High intensity laser beam can be directed to a narrow region in order to instantly evaporate

material with very narrow heat aﬀected zone. This ability to cut instantly with extremely narrow

laser beam distinguishes it from other cutting methods. The key to success in precision cut by laser

depends on many factors such as laser characteristics, material properties of the specimen, and

manufacturing parameters. In precision manufacturing the quality of the cut is often measured

based on the shape of the groove and amount of material removal. Therefore, better understand-

ing of the process and thereby the roles of various parameters are essential to successful applica-

tions of laser-cutting process.

There have been numerous investigations on laser applications. Some [4–8] investigated states

of stresses in fracture, chemical compositions and properties, and heat transfer on diﬀerent types

of materials such as metals, composites, ceramics, and metallic glasses. Others [9–13] studied heat

treatment eﬀects on the material by laser irradiation. Considerable researches [14–18] have been

done with heat transfer models on the eﬀects of laser characteristics and material properties for

the quality of laser processes. Other researches [1,19–21] are also found about pulsed lasers, melt-

ing of thin ﬁlms, and reﬂections.

As many applications need to take the melting into consideration, there are also many applica-

tions that rely on material evaporation such as cutting plastics and organic materials in medical

operations. In addition, the current method for evaporative cutting can be extended to include

melting pool in the future. This paper primarily focuses on the implementation of a three-dimen-

sional ﬁnite element method for the ﬁrst time in order to predict the groove shapes in evaporative

laser cutting as an extension of the previous works by Kim et al. [22–25].

2. Mathematical formulation

A typical laser cutting installation is shown in Fig. 1. The typical processes involved in eva-

aporative laser cutting are thermal in nature. When a laser beam strikes a material surface, several

eﬀects take place: reﬂection and absorption of the beam; conduction of heat into the material and

loss of heat by convection and/or radiation from the material surface. The amount of energy

absorbed and utilized in removing the material depends on the optical and thermo-physical pro-

perties of the material. The mathematical model describing the process of material removal from

the surface subjected to high intensity laser beam can be found in Modest and Abakians [17,20]

and Kim et al. [22–25].

It is assumed that there are three diﬀerent regions on the surface subjected to laser beam as

shown in Fig. 2. Region I is too far from the laser to have reached evaporation temperature, re-

gion II is the area in which evaporation takes place, and region III is the region in which evapo-

ration has already taken place.

h

evap

dimensionless evaporation temperature (h

evap

= 1)

h

i,m

, h

i,m+1

dimensionless temperatures at nodes z

i,m

and z

i,m+1

k relaxation factor

s time

940 M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954

Following assumptions are also made in deriving the model:

(1) laser beam is of Gaussian type in a continuous mode,

(2) material moves at a constant relative velocity,

(3) material is isotropic and opaque with constant thermal and optical properties,

(4) material removal is a surface phenomenon and phase change from solid to vapor occurs in

one step,

(5) evaporated material is transparent and does not interfere with incident laser beam,

(6) heat losses by convection and radiation from the surfaces to the environment can be approxi-

mated by using a single constant convection coeﬃcient.

Based on these assumptions, the mathematical statement of the problem can be written as

follows:

qcU

oT

oX

¼ k

o

2

T

oX

2

þ

o

2

T

oY

2

þ

o

2

T

oZ

2

_ _

ð1Þ

subjected to the boundary conditions at edges

^q

k

¼ ^q

h

at X ¼ ÆX

F

and Y ¼ ÆY

F

and T ¼ T

0

at Z ¼ Z

F

for a finite model ð2aÞ

Fig. 1. Typical laser installation.

Fig. 2. Energy balance on the surface subject to laser.

M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954 941

or

T ¼ T

0

at X ¼ Æ1; Y ¼ Æ1 and Z ¼ 1 for a semi-infinite model ð2bÞ

and the boundary condition on the surface subject to laser beam is obtained from the balance of

heat transfer on the surface as

^q

L

þ ^q

k

¼ ^q

h

þ ^q

ig

ð3Þ

where ^q

L

¼ Àa

o

I

o

ð

^

k Á ^nÞe

ÀðX

2

þY

2

Þ=R

2

; ^q

h

¼ hðT À T

1

Þ; ^q

k

¼ Àkð^n Á rTÞ; ^q

ig

¼ qh

ig

Uð

^

i Á ^nÞ;

^

i and

^

k are

unit vectors in the X- and Z-direction, respectively, and ^n is the normal outward unit vector to

surface. Here, qUð

^

i Á ^nÞ represents the rate of material removal when the specimen moves in neg-

ative X-direction with the speed U.

With the introduction of the dimensionless variables as follows

x ¼

X

R

o

; y ¼

Y

R

o

; z ¼

Z

R

o

; sðx; yÞ ¼

SðX; Y Þ

R

o

; h ¼

ðT À T

1

Þ

ðT

evap

À T

1

Þ

;

N

e

¼

qUh

ig

a

o

I

o

; N

k

¼

kðT

evap

À T

1

Þ

R

o

a

o

I

o

; Bi ¼

hR

o

k

; u ¼

UR

o

a

; a ¼

k

qc

ð4Þ

Eq. (1) and the boundary conditions (2) and (3) can be rewritten as:

u

oh

ox

¼

o

2

h

ox

2

þ

o

2

h

oy

2

þ

o

2

h

oz

2

ð5Þ

subjected to

q

k

¼ q

h

at x ¼ Æx

F

and y ¼ Æy

F

and h ¼ h

0

at z ¼ z

F

for a finite model ð6aÞ

or

h ¼ h

1

at x ¼ Æ1; y ¼ Æ1 and z ¼ þ1 ð6bÞ

and on the surface subject to laser

Region I: z = 0, Àx

F

< x < x

min

N

k

Bih À

oh

oz

_ _

¼ e

Àðx

2

þy

2

Þ

ð7Þ

Region II: z = s(x, y), x

min

< x < x

max

h ¼ 1; N

e

os

ox

¼ e

Àðx

2

þy

2

Þ

À N

k

Bih À

oh

oz

_ _

1 þ

os

ox

_ _

2

þ

os

oy

_ _

2

_ _

1=2

ð8Þ

Region III: z = s

1

, x

max

< x < x

F

N

k

Bih À

oh

oz

_ _

1 þ

os

1

ox

_ _

2

_ _

1=2

¼ e

Àðx

2

þy

2

Þ

ð9Þ

Here Bi is the Biot number representing the ratio of convection to conduction heat losses. u rep-

resents the ratio of relative speed of the work specimen to the thermal diﬀusivity of the material.

942 M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954

N

e

is the ratio of energy utilized in evaporation of material and the absorbed laser energy while N

k

represents the approximate ratio of conduction losses to the absorbed laser energy.

The convection boundary condition in Eq. (2a) is now expressed in dimensionless form as

q

k

¼ Biðh À h

1

Þ ð10Þ

The conduction term in Eq. (3) can now be expressed in terms of others in dimensionless form

q

k

¼

e

Àx

2

N

k

ð

^

k Á ^nÞ þ Biðh À h

1

Þ þ

N

e

N

k

ð

^

i Á ^nÞ ð11Þ

Note that the regions I and III are subsets of region II and all regions can be handled by one type

of region II in actual analysis.

3. Finite element formulation

The variational formulation of the governing equation by weighted residual method leads to an

integral form

0 ¼

_

X

u

oh

ox

À

o

2

h

ox

2

À

o

2

h

oz

2

_ _

dhdX

¼

_

X

u

oh

ox

dh À

oh

ox

odh

ox

À

oh

oz

odh

oz

_ _

dX À

_

C

n

x

oh

ox

þ n

z

oh

oz

_ _

dhdC

¼

_

X

u

oh

ox

dh À

oh

ox

odh

ox

À

oh

oz

odh

oz

_ _

dX þ

_

C

q

k

dhdC ð12Þ

where X and C represent the domain and the boundary, respectively.

The ﬁnite element formulation is obtained from this weak form of the variational formulation

by introducing the shape functions /

j

(x, z) with nodal values h

j

on an elemental domain as

K

ðeÞ

ij

_ _

fh

j

g ¼ fF

ðeÞ

i

g ð13Þ

where

K

ðeÞ

ij

¼

_

X

e

U/

i

o/

j

ox

þ

o/

i

ox

o/

j

ox

þ

o/

i

oz

o/

j

oz

_ _

dX À

_

C

e

Bi/

i

/

j

ds; i; j ¼ 1; 2; . . . ; N

F

ðeÞ

i

¼ À

_

C

e

q

k

/

i

ds

Here X

e

and C

e

represent elemental domain and boundary. The dimensionless temperature h(x, z)

is approximated by nodal values of temperature and shape functions as

hðx; zÞ ¼

N

j¼1

h

j

/

j

ðx; zÞ ð14Þ

and N is the number of node per element.

M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954 943

By assembling the elemental ﬁnite element formulation the global ﬁnite element model of the

problem can now be written as

½Kfhg ¼ fF g ð15Þ

where [K] and {F} are known matrices and {h} is the unknown column vector.

4. Computational methods

The governing equation is easier to express with moving specimen for the ﬁxed frame to laser,

but it is also easier to numerically implement with the moving laser for the ﬁxed specimen. They

are equivalent except the viewpoint and thus, in the present analysis the laser is handled as a mov-

ing source in positive X-direction with ﬁxed specimen for easiness of numerical implementation

below.

Since the geometry (i.e., groove shape) is not known beforehand, computation begins with an

assumed domain, which is the original shape of the specimen at the beginning. Once the temper-

ature is calculated for the given domain, the nodal values of the surface temperatures in region II

are examined if the boundary conditions in Eq. (8) are satisﬁed. If the temperature at any node is

greater than the evaporation temperature, then the material at that node should have melted.

In this paper a simple but eﬀective linear interpolation as described in [24] and repeated below is

used for the new position of a node. This simple scheme substantially reduces the computational

time

z

new

i

¼ z

i

þ

z

i

À z

bottom

h

i

À h

bottom

ðh

i

À h

evap

Þ ð16Þ

Once z

new

i

is computed at node i, actual new value for next iteration is relaxed by

z

actual

i

¼ ð1 À kÞz

old

i

þ kz

new

i

ð17Þ

where k is a relaxation factor used to suppress oscillation in iteration. This new value, z

actual

i

, is

used to obtain a new domain.

Since the nodes are moved in z-direction independently to simulate the material removal when

the temperatures are greater than the melting temperature, the four surface nodes may not be pla-

nar and the surface integral due to the laser irradiation cannot be evaluated based on the planar

assumption. Thus, the elemental surface with four nodes is approximated by a bilinear polynomial

function as

zðx; yÞ ¼ a

0

þ a

1

x þ a

2

y þ a

3

xy ð18Þ

where the coeﬃcients a

i

Õs can be obtained by imposing continuity conditions at four nodes as

z

1

z

2

z

3

z

4

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

¼

1 x

1

y

1

x

1

y

1

1 x

2

y

2

x

2

y

2

1 x

3

y

3

x

3

y

3

1 x

4

y

4

x

4

y

4

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

a

0

a

1

a

2

a

3

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

ð19Þ

Here, z

i

Õs are nodal z-coordinates given by z

i

= z(x

i

, y

i

).

944 M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954

The region III where material has been removed is implemented by extending the maximum

groove depths in the region II.

Once the new shape of the domain is computed, the iteration continues until the relative sums

of squared errors for both nodal temperatures and positions fall below a prescribed tolerance, e.

E

temp

¼

N

j¼1

ðh

new

j

À h

old

j

Þ

2

N

j¼1

ðh

new

j

Þ

2

_ _ _

1=2

ð20Þ

E

pos

¼

N

j¼1

ðz

new

j

À z

old

j

Þ

2

N

j¼1

ðz

new

j

Þ

2

_ _ _

1=2

ð21Þ

Here N is the number of nodes in the domain.

Even after the converged solution is obtained by iteration, it is possible that the temperature at

a node has a value below the evaporation temperature but moved to a new position during iter-

ation. If this happens, the node should be moved back to the original position and the iteration

resumes. This causes numerical diﬃculty of unstable oscillation of errors during iteration.

5. Numerical results and discussion

First, the three-dimensional results have been compared to two-dimensional results of previous

works for various cases in Fig. 3. The dimensionless parameters for these cases with various

speeds of laser are

Bi ¼ 0.0001; N

e

¼ 0.001; N

k

¼ 0.4 ð22Þ

and the dimensions of the specimen are

Æx

F

¼ 8; Æy

F

¼ 8; z

F

¼ 2.5 ð23Þ

These values are chosen to roughly represent the specimen made of typical Aluminum cut by laser

power of 1 kW with the beam focal radius of 0.1 mm that is subjected to natural convection by

air. In this case the speed of laser beam in 1 m/s is converted to the dimensionless speed of 1 [25].

Fig. 3. Maximum groove depths of various cases in two- and three-dimensional cases.

M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954 945

The error criteria are

e ¼ 0.01% for position error ð24aÞ

e ¼ 0.1% for temperature error ð24bÞ

The boundary conditions are given by Eq. (6a) and the laser is positioned at the center of the

specimen.

Fig. 3 shows the maximum groove depths against the laser velocity. Both two- and three-dimen-

sional results converge with reﬁned meshes, but the three-dimensional cases converge much faster

than two-dimensional cases. The two-dimensional cases 40 · 5 and 80 · 5 or three-dimensional

cases 40 · 40 · 5 and 80 · 80 · 5 meshes are very close and indistinguishable in the ﬁgure. It is

noted that the values of the maximum groove depths of three-dimensional cases are approxi-

mately half of those in two-dimensional cases. This may be expected from the heat transfer to

the third direction (positive and negative y directions) in three-dimensional cases that is absent

in two-dimensional cases as illustrated in Fig. 4 (not to show actual direction of heat transfer that

is normal to the surface).

Also, the eﬀect of number of Gauss integration points on maximum groove depths has been

investigated for domain and surface integrals in (13). It was found (not shown here) that ﬁne mesh

of 40 · 40 · 5 and the minimum number of integration points, two, are good enough for numer-

ically converged results.

The second case considered deals with a semi-inﬁnite body with the following parameters.

U ¼ 1; Bi ¼ 0.0001; N

e

¼ 0.01; N

k

¼ 0.1–0.005 ð25Þ

The semi-inﬁnite elements used in this analysis are given in Appendix A. The boundary conditions

are given by Eq. (6b). The eﬀect of domain size and the mesh on maximum groove depths has

been investigated. In computation, symmetry about x–z plane has been utilized in three-dimen-

sional analyses.

Table 1 shows two-dimensional results on the maximum groove depths as the mesh is reﬁned

and the domain is increased proportionally. The mesh of 20 · 15 elements in 2D with the domain

size of 32 · 50 can be taken as converged results. Further, the result for domain sizes of 16 · 50

(not shown here) has been computed that is very close to the result for the case of 32 · 50. This

suggests that the domain size L

x

= 16 is good enough for accurate results.

x

y

z

Fig. 4. Heat transfer in three directions at the cutting front.

946 M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954

Table 2 shows three-dimensional maximum groove depths as the mesh is doubled from left to

right and the domain is increased proportionally to check the convergence with location of semi-

inﬁnite elements. Also, the number of elements in x- and y-directions from top to bottom shows

the convergence. The mesh of 20 · 10 · 15 elements with the domain size of 32 · 16 · 50 yields

reasonably converged results for this case. The values with * show very close results to preceding

values indicating that domain size of L

x

· L

y

= 32 · 16 is good enough for semi-inﬁnite dimen-

sions in x- and y-directions. Modest et al. [17] predicted the max groove depth of roughly 10 in

their semi-analytical analysis that is higher than the current numerical results.

In Fig. 5 the max groove depths and temperature errors are shown during the iteration as well

as the convergence in the error domain. In Fig. 6 the groove shape and temperature distribution

with the half domain for the case 40 · 20 · 15 mesh in Table 2 are shown. Figs. 5(e) and 6(c) show

that the temperature is more closely distributed in front of the moving laser showing the Doppler

eﬀect due to the moving source. It is interesting to see the caved-in contour plot at the bottom of

the groove on the laser receding side. This suggests that the groove bottom cools down faster than

the side surfaces.

Further, the eﬀect of number of integration points on maximum groove depths was also inves-

tigated for semi-inﬁnite elements (not shown here). The results suggest that the specimen size of 16

and 8 in x- and y-directions is good for semi-inﬁnite elements with two integration points. And

consequently these values are used in the current analyses.

Table 3 shows the case with N

k

= 0.01. The convergence can be observed with 40 · 20 · 15

mesh. The present numerical results for maximum groove depth predict smaller value than the

value 80 by Modest et al. [17].

Figs. 7 and 8 show typical changes of maximum groove depths, temperature and position

errors, the temperature distribution, and the groove shape for the case of mesh 40 · 20 · 60 in

Table 2

Eﬀects of mesh and size of specimen on maximum groove depths with U = 1, Bi = 10

À4

, N

e

= 10

À2

, N

k

= 0.1

3D L

x

· L

y

· L

z

16 · 8 · 25 32 · 16 · 50 64 · 32 · 100

Starting N

x

· N

y

· N

z

10 · 5 · 15 7.61915 7.38836 7.30045

7.38839

*

7.30045

*

20 · 10 · 15 6.01683 5.765111 5.74619

*

40 · 20 · 15 5.80948 5.765111

*

*

The values are computed only increasing z-dimension from the preceding cases.

Table 1

Eﬀects of mesh and size of specimen on maximum groove depths with U = 1, Bi = 10

À4

, N

e

= 10

À2

, N

k

= 0.1

2D L

x

· L

z

16 · 25 32 · 50 64 · 100 128 · 200

N

x

· N

z

10 · 15 24.75272 21.52166 20.55286 20.22619

21.52356

*

20 · 15 14.55105 14.43881 14.39967

40 · 15 14.69527 14.43894

M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954 947

Fig. 5. (a) Maximum groove depth with iteration, (b) temperature error with iteration, (c) convergence behavior in

error domain, (d) mid-plane groove shapes with iteration, and (e) mid-plane surface temperatures with iteration for the

case of mesh 40 · 20 · 15 in Table 2.

Fig. 6. (a) 3D Groove shape and (b) 3D temperature distribution, (c) temperature contour plot on the groove surface

(top view), and (d) heat ﬂux in the mid-plane (at y = 0) for half domain for the case of mesh 40 · 20 · 15 in Table 2.

948 M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954

Table 3. It is observed that the heat aﬀected zone stretches far down from the laser with smaller

conductivity of the material.

In the following the sectional shapes of the groove are also presented. These shapes also com-

pare well with those by Modest et al. [17] except the maximum groove depth. Here it is noted that

Fig. 9(b) shows the backward groove depth for laser motion than forward groove for the moving

specimen. A preliminary study with unsteady model (not shown here) shows forward groove with

shallower depth in both cases of moving laser and moving specimen.

Final case with N

k

= 0.005 has been also studied and presented in Table 4 and Fig. 10. The con-

verged results can be taken for the mesh 20 · 10 · 15 with domain size 32 · 16 · 400. The present

Table 3

Eﬀects of mesh and size of specimen on maximum groove depths with U = 1, Bi = 10

À4

, N

e

= 10

À2

, N

k

= 0.01

3D L

x

· L

y

· L

z

16 · 8 · 200 32 · 16 · 400 64 · 32 · 800

N

x

· N

y

· N

z

10 · 5 · 15 69.19937 66.09498 64.97447

66.09512

*

64.97447

*

20 · 10 · 15 47.52265 47.25097

40 · 20 · 15 47.67044

*

The values in the table are computed only increasing z-dimension from the preceding cases.

Fig. 7. (a) Maximum groove depth with iteration, (b) temperature error with iteration, and (c) convergence behavior in

error domain, (d) mid-plane groove shapes with iteration, and (e) mid-plane surface temperatures with iteration for the

case of mesh 40 · 20 · 15 in Table 3.

M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954 949

numerical result for maximum groove depth predicts much smaller value that of 120 by Modest

et al. [17] consistently. With the decrease of the conductivity most heat ﬂux occurs along the laser

motion horizontally.

Fig. 8. (a) Groove shape and (b) temperature distribution, (c) temperature contour plot on the groove surface (top

view), and (d) heat ﬂux in the mid-plane (at y = 0) for half domain in the case of mesh 40 · 20 · 15 in Table 3.

Fig. 9. Groove section shapes (a) perpendicular to laser motion and (b) in the direction of laser motion for the case

40 · 20 · 15 in Table 3.

Table 4

Eﬀects of mesh and size of specimen on maximum groove depths with U = 1, Bi = 10

À4

, N

e

= 10

À2

, N

k

= 0.005

3D L

x

· L

y

· L

z

16 · 8 · 300 32 · 16 · 400 64 · 32 · 800

N

x

· N

y

· N

z

10 · 5 · 15 125.77696 123.57431 118.57616

123.57510

*

118.57482

*

20 · 0 · 15 74.76116 74.90197

74.66565

*

40 · 20 · 15 75.49031

*

The values are computed with same dimensions except doubled z-dimension.

950 M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954

Fig. 10. (a) Maximum groove depth with iteration, (b) temperature error with iteration, (c) error behavior in error

domain, (d) groove shapes during iteration at mid-section (y = 0), (e) mid-section surface temperatures during iteration,

(f) 3D groove shape, (g) 3D surface temperature, (h) temperature contour plot on the groove surface (top view), (i) mid-

section heat ﬂuxes, (j) groove section shape in the direction of laser motion, and (k) groove section perpendicular to the

laser motion for the case of mesh 40 · 20 · 15 in Table 4.

M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954 951

Fig. 10 shows similar behaviors of max groove depth with iteration as well as the groove shape

and temperature distribution to the previous cases.

6. Conclusions

A three-dimensional ﬁnite element model has been developed to analyze the evaporative laser-

cutting process based on steady heat conduction equation with constant laser velocity. The laser

intensity is assumed to be suﬃciently high to cause direct evaporation of the material from the

surface of the medium. The laser side elemental surface is approximated by semi-quadratic poly-

nomial function. Parametric study shows that the numerical results converge with the mesh reﬁne-

ment. The predicted groove shapes for a semi-inﬁnite domain well compare with semi-analytical

results by others except the max groove depths. The present analyses without any limiting

assumptions predict smaller maximum groove depths than semi-analytical results. The tempera-

ture distributions show the heat-aﬀected zone is not really limited close to the laser position.

The Doppler eﬀect is observed for a moving laser. The steady-state analyses show the backward

groove shapes than forward ones in real laser-cutting process. The geometric nonlinearity due to

the unknown groove shape has led to an iterative scheme that sometimes resulted in unstable

oscillations during iterations.

Appendix A

For eight node linear element (Fig. A.1), assuming that the element extends to inﬁnity along z-

direction the coordinates can be expressed as

x ¼

4

j¼1

x

j

M

j

; y ¼

4

j¼1

y

j

M

j

; z ¼

4

j¼1

z

j

M

j

ðA:1Þ

where the mapping functions for coordinates are

M

1

¼

1 À n

2

1 À g

2

2

1 À 1

; M

2

¼

1 þ n

2

1 À g

2

2

1 À 1

;

M

3

¼

1 þ n

2

1 þ g

2

2

1 À 1

; M

4

¼

1 À n

2

1 þ g

2

2

1 À 1

ðA:2Þ

and the shape functions for ﬁeld variable are standard linear shape functions.

4

5

∞

2

6

ξ

ζ

1 8

3

η

7

Fig. A.1. Natural coordinates of a semiinﬁnite element.

952 M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954

The Jacobian J in ﬁnite element formulation then becomes

J ¼

ox

on

oy

on

oz

on

ox

og

oy

og

oz

og

ox

o1

oy

o1

oz

o1

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

¼

4

j¼1

oM

j

on

x

j

4

j¼1

oM

j

on

y

j

4

j¼1

oM

j

on

z

j

4

j¼1

oM

j

og

x

j

4

j¼1

oM

j

og

y

j

4

j¼1

oM

j

og

z

j

4

j¼1

oM

j

o1

x

j

4

j¼1

oM

j

o1

y

j

4

j¼1

oM

j

o1

z

j

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

ðA:3Þ

References

[1] W.E. Lawson, Laser cutting of composites, in: Conference on Composites in Manufacturing, Technical Paper

EM86-114, Los Angeles, 1986.

[2] D.M. Roessler, Detroit looks to lasers, Mech. Eng. 112 (April 1990) (1986) 38–45.

[3] J. Uhlenbusch, U. Bielesch, S. Klein, M. Napp, J.H. Schafer, Recent developments in metal processing with

pulsed laser technology, Appl. Surf. Sci. 106 (1996) 228–234.

[4] D.L. Carrol, J.A. Rothenﬂue, Experimental study of cutting thick aluminum and steel with a chemical oxygen–

iodine laser using an N

2

or O

2

gas assist, J. Laser Appl. 9 (1997) 119–128.

[5] S. Ghosh, B.P. Badgujar, G.L. Goswami, Parametric studies of cutting zircaloy-2 sheets with a laser beam, J. Laser

Appl. 8 (1996) 143–148.

[6] J.M. Glass et al., Heat transfer in metallic glasses during laser cutting, ASME Heat Transfer in Manufacturing and

Materials Processing, New York, HTD Vol. 113, 1989, pp. 31–38.

[7] J. Kusinski, Microstructure, chemical composition and properties of the surface layer of M2 steel after melting

under diﬀerent conditions, Appl. Surf. Sci. 86 (1995) 317–322.

[8] K. Li, P. Sheng, Plane stress model for fracture of ceramics during laser cutting, Int. J. Mach. Tools Manufact. 35

(11) (1995) 1493–1506.

[9] K. Brugger, Exact solutions for the temperature rise in a laser heated slab, J. Appl. Phys. 43 (1972) 577–583.

[10] J.I. Masters, Problem of intense surface heating of a slab accompanied by change of phase, J. Appl. Phys. 27 (1956)

477–484.

[11] A. Minardi, P.J. Bishop, Temperature distribution within a metal subjected to irradiation by a laser of spatially

varying intensity, ASME Heat Transfer in Manufacturing and Materials Processing, New York, HTD Vol. 113,

1989, pp. 39–44.

[12] N.N. Rykalin, A.A. Uglov, N.I. Makarov, Eﬀects of peak frequency in a laser pulse on the heating of metal sheets,

Sov. Phys.-Doklad. 12 (1967) 644–646.

[13] R.E. Warren, M. Sparks, Laser heating of a slab having temperature-dependent surface absorptance, J. Appl.

Phys. 50 (1979) 7952–7957.

[14] B. Basu, J. Srinivasan, Numerical study of steady-state laser melting problem, Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer 31 (1988)

2331–2338.

[15] K.A. Bunting, G. Cornﬁeld, Toward a general theory of cutting: A relationship between the incident power density

and the cut speed, ASME J. Heat Transfer 97 (1975) 116–121.

[16] F.W. Dabby, U.C. Paek, High intensity laser-induced vaporization and explosion of solid material, IEEE J. Quant.

Electron. QE-8 (1972) 106–111.

[17] M.F. Modest, H. Abakian, Evaporative cutting of a semi-inﬁnite body with a moving CW laser, ASME J. Heat

Transfer 108 (1986) 597–601.

[18] J.F. Reddy, Eﬀects of High Power Laser Radiation, Academic Press, NY, 1971.

[19] D. Maydan, Micromachining and image recording on thin ﬁlms by laser beams, Bell Syst. Tech. J. 50 (1971)

1761–1789.

M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954 953

[20] M.F. Modest, H. Abakian, Heat conduction in a moving semi-inﬁnite solid subjected to pulsed laser irradiation,

ASME J. Heat Transfer 108 (1986) 602–607.

[21] A.P. Zhuravel, A.G. Sivakov, O.G. Turutanov, I.M. Dmitrenko, A low temperature system with a pulse UV laser

for scribing HTSC ﬁlms and single crystals, Appl. Surf. Sci. 106 (1996) 321–325.

[22] M.J. Kim, Z.H. Chen, P. Majumdar, Finite element modeling of the laser cutting process, J. Comput. Struct. 49

(1993) 231–241.

[23] M.J. Kim, P. Majumdar, A computational model for high energy laser cutting process, Numer. Heat Transfer,

Part A 27 (1995) 717–733.

[24] M.J. Kim, Transient evaporative laser-cutting with boundary element method, J. Appl. Math. Modell. 25 (2000)

25–39.

[25] M.J. Kim, Finite element analysis of evaporative cutting with a moving high energy pulsed laser, J. Appl. Math.

Modell. 25 (2001) 203–220.

954 M.J. Kim / Applied Mathematical Modelling 29 (2005) 938–954

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