AbstractThis PhD thesis reports an investigation into medical coronary stent cutting using three different types of lasers and associated physical phenomena. This study is motivated by a gap in the current knowledge in stent cutting identified in an extensive literature review. Although lasers are widely used for stent cutting, in general the laser technology employed is still traditionally based on millisecond pulsed Nd:YAG lasers. Although recent studies have demonstrated the use of fibre lasers, picosecond and femtosecond lasers for stent cutting, it has been preliminary studies.To further understand the role of new types of lasers such as pulsed fibre lasers, picosecond and femtosecond pulsed lasers in stent cutting, these three lasers based stent cutting were investigated in this project. The first investigation was on a new cutting method using water assisted pulsed (millisecond) fibre laser cutting of stainless steel 316L tubes to explore the advantages of the presence of water compared to the dry cutting condition. Significant improvements were observed with the presence of water; narrower kerf width, lower surface roughness, less dross attachment, absence of backwall damage and smaller heat affected zone (HAZ). This technique is now fully commercialised by Swisstec, an industrial project partner that manufactures stent cutting machines.The second investigation used the picosecond laser (with 6 ps pulse duration in the UV wavelength range) for cutting nickel titanium alloy (nitinol) and platinum iridium alloy. The main achievement in this study was obtaining dross-free cut as well as clean backwall, which may eliminate the need for extensive post-processing. Picosecond laser cutting of stents is investigated and reported for the first time. The third area of investigation was on the use of a femtosecond laser at 100 fs pulse duration for cutting nickel titanium alloy tubes. It was found that dry cutting degraded the cut quality due to debris and recast formation. For improvement, a water assisted cutting technique was undertaken, for the first time, by submerging the workpiece in a thin layer of water for comparison with the dry cutting condition. The final part of the thesis presents a three dimensional numerical model of the laser micromachining process using smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH). The model was used to provide better understanding of the laser beam and material interaction (with static beam) including the penetration depth achieved, phase changes, melt ejection velocity, also recast and spatter formation. Importantly, the model also simulated the wet machining condition by understanding the role of water removing the melt ejected during the process which avoided backwall damages. Results with the fibre laser in millisecond pulse duration were used for the validation purposes. The conclusions reached in this project and recommendations for future work are enclosed.The work has resulted in the publication of 3 journal papers and 2 additional journal paper submissions.
|Date of Award||31 Dec 2012|
|Supervisor||Lin Li (Supervisor) & Benedict D. Rogers (Supervisor)|
- Smoothed particle hydrodynamics
- Laser cutting
- Laser micromachining