This paper presents a concept for performing three-dimensional laser machining on composite materials, using two intersecting laser beams to create grooves on a workpiece. A volume of material is removed when the two grooves converge. An analysis of the grooving process was conducted for carbon/teflon and glass/polyester materials. A model was developed to determine groove depth from process parameters and material properties. Close agreement was found between model predictions and experimental results for groove depths in carbon/teflon. Model predictions consistently overestimated depth values for continuous-beam glass/polyester results, and underestimated depth values for pulsed-beam glass/polyester at low power/high speed. Corrections for heat losses and high-temperature chemical interactions were added to the model to improve agreement with data. Groove width and damage width results were compared with surface quality standards for laser cutting of composites.

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