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A Numerical Study of the Temperature Gradient Mechanism in Laser Forming Using Different Laser Beam Geometries
M.S. Che Jamil, M.A. Sheikh and L. Li

Laser forming has attracted considerable attention as a viable technique to form sheet metal by thermal residual stresses. Many numerical and experimental investigations of laser forming processes were carried out to understand the mechanisms and the effects of various parameters on the characteristics of the formed parts. The objective of this work is to investigate the effect of different beam geometries on laser bending process of metal sheets, which is dominated by temperature gradient mechanism (TGM). In this paper a comprehensive thermal and structural finite element analysis is conducted to investigate the effect that these laser beam geometries have on the process and the final product characteristics. To achieve this, the temperature distribution, deformation, plastic strains and stresses produced by different beam geometries are compared numerically. The findings suggest that beam geometry could be an important controlling parameter for bending angle, edge effect and bend radius.

Keywords: Laser forming, bending, beam geometries, finite element (FE) method, temperature gradient mechanism (TGM), sheet metal

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