Journal of Materials Science, Vol.33, No.4, 963-967, 1998
The processing of SiC SiC ceramic matrix composites using a pulsed Nd-YAG laser Part II The effect of process variables
The machining of a composite material consisting of silicon carbide (SiC) fibres in a chemical-vapour-infiltrated SiC matrix has been investigated using a 400 W pulsed Nd-doped yttrium aluminium garnet laser. Part I of this work reported the findings of investigating the influence of the laser pulse parameters, principally with respect to the material removal rate. In this, the analysis concentrates on the quality of the processed surface and considers the effect of processing variables such as the choice and pressure of assist gas and the point of focus of the incident laser beam. Scanning electron microscopy is used to assess the extent of the heat-affected zone and its impact on the structural integrity of the composite.Throughout this study, comparison is made with related ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) that have been investigated. The intention is that, by determining the influential factors in each of the specific cases, observations may be made concerning the laser processing of CMC material systems in general.