Experimental Study of Back Wall Dross and Surface Roughness in Fiber Laser Microcutting of 316L Miniature Tubes Page: 1
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Experimental Study of Back Wall Dross and Surface
Roughness in Fiber Laser Microcutting of 316L
Erika Garcia-L6pez 1 , Alexis G. Medrano-Tellez 1, Juansethi R. Ibarra-Medina 1 ,
Hector R. Siller 2 and Ciro A. Rodriguez 1*
1 Tecnol6gico de Monterrey, Escuela de Ingenieria y Ciencias, Monterrey, Nuevo Le6n 64849, Mexico;
firstname.lastname@example.org (E.G.-L.); email@example.com (A.G.M.-T.); firstname.lastname@example.org (J.R.I.-M.)
2 Department of Engineering Technology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76207, USA;
* Correspondence: email@example.com; Tel.: +52-(81)-8358-2000
Received: 18 September 2017; Accepted: 19 December 2017; Published: 26 December 2017
Abstract: Laser cutting is a key technology for the medical devices industry, providing the flexibility,
and precision for the processing of sheets, and tubes with high quality features. In this study,
extensive experimentation was used to evaluate the effect of fiber laser micro-cutting parameters
over average surface roughness (Ra) and back wall dross (Dbw) in AISI 316L stainless steel miniature
tubes. A factorial design analysis was carried out to investigate the laser process parameters: pulse
frequency, pulse width, peak power, cutting speed, and gas pressure. A real laser beam radius of
32.1 m was fixed in all experiments. Through the appropriate combination of process parameters
(i.e., high level of pulse overlapping factor, and pulse energy below 32 mJ) it was possible to achieve
less than 1 m in surface roughness at the edge of the laser-cut tube, and less than 3.5% dross deposits
at the back wall of the miniature tube.
Keywords: vascular stents; fiber laser; AISI 316L stainless steel; microcutting; back wall dross;
Biomedical applications such as micro shavers, needles, biopsy instruments, and coronary stents
require the use of fiber laser for cutting miniature tubes [1,2]. These medical applications are highly
demanding in terms of dimensional tolerance and surface topography. Therefore, there is great interest
in the proper characterization of this kind of novel micro-manufacturing processes with medical grade
materials. In micromanufacturing, laser technology provides high flexibility due to its capability for
processing a wide range of materials . However, some of the issues considered in high precision
manufacturing include slag, burrs, heat affected zones, and dross adhesion. These product quality
problems are reduced with secondary post-processing techniques such as electropolishing and by
adjusting cutting process parameters such as pulse frequency, pulse width, peak power, cutting speed,
gas pressure and stand-off distance.
The research literature shows a number of studies related to fiber laser cutting. However,
documented research regarding quality features of fiber laser cutting at micrometric scale is relatively
limited. Karatas et al.  presented the influence of laser beam waist position relative to the workpiece
surface and workpiece thickness on kerf size and striation pattern in high-strength low-alloy steel
(HSLA-steel). Radovanovic et al.  examined the effect of peak power and material thickness on
surface roughness in 1 mm, 3 mm, and 6 mm thick low-carbon sheets. Sobih et al.  presented the
impact of cutting speed over surface roughness and striations patterns in the fiber laser cutting of mild
Micromachines 2018, 9, 4; doi:10.3390/mi9010004
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García-López, Erika; Medrano-Tellez, Alexis G.; Ibarra-Medina, Juansethi R.; Siller, Héctor R. & Rodríguez, Ciro A. Experimental Study of Back Wall Dross and Surface Roughness in Fiber Laser Microcutting of 316L Miniature Tubes, article, December 26, 2017; Basel, Switzerland. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1062077/m1/1/: accessed February 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Engineering.