Hole formation mechanisms in double-sided laser drilling of Ti6Al4V-C/SiC stacked materials

Lei Gao, Chang Liu*, Junjie Liu, Yang Tao, Yan Jin, Dan Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

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This is the first investigation on the potential of doubled-sided laser drilling for hole making in Ti6Al4V-C/SiC, a hard-to-machine stacked structure that holds critical significance in high-temperature structural applications. While previous literature reported laser drilling-induced microstructural change in Ti6Al4V and C/SiC single sheets respectively, a comprehensive understanding of the melt pool formation process and its influence on hole morphology/quality is still lacking. The complexity increases when Ti6Al4V is coupled with C/SiC in a stacked structure, highlighting a significant yet understudied knowledge gap in understanding the intricate material interactions at the interface. Here we present a multifaceted study combining novel computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling approach with ablation mechanism investigation through advanced microstructure analysis. A hybrid CFD modeling strategy integrating volume of fluid method and level set method has been developed to successfully simulate the evolution of hole shape, recast layer formation, and melt pool flow behaviour in Ti6Al4V-C/SiC. This model provides comprehensive insights into molten pool dynamics under various laser drilling conditions, fostering a fundamental understanding of the mechanism that drives recast layer formation and influencing surface quality. To validate our modeling outcomes, extensive experimental investigations were undertaken across a range of laser drilling conditions. Whenever possible, samples were analysed using advanced materials characterization techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and electron backscatter diffraction, to elucidate the microstructural evolution within the recast layer and the formation of the heat-affected zone. Whenever possible, the results were also compared with single side drilled Ti6Al4V-C/SiC stacks, Ti6Al4V or C/SiC single sheets (i.e., the benchmark references). Our experimental findings align well with the modeling results, systematically illustrating that doubled-sided laser drilling of the stacked structure outperforms the conventional single-sided laser drilling in terms of hole morphology, surface roughness, and reduced recast layer formation. Despite these promising results, the proposed technology is currently limited to laboratory scales and lacks capacity in manufacturing certain parts with complex geometry. Future outlook has therefore been proposed with potential solution to address these challenges and enable real world applications in future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number118307
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Materials Processing Technology
Early online date25 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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