The use of localized heat source, such as lasers and electron beams, in many manufacturing processes has received a lot of attention in last years. This is due to their versatility and to the possibility to concentrate high powers over small areas. In this paper the transient two dimensional thermal field in a solid irradiated by a moving Gaussian laser beam has been numerically analyzed. The numerical simulation allows for both surface heat losses, convective and radiative, and variable thermophysical properties. Three cases are considered: one is related to an adiabatic workpiece, the other two to a diabatic workpiece with a constant or variable heat transfer coefficient on the upper and lower surfaces. Results show that a local quasi-steady state condition is reached after a time that is much larger when the solid is adiabatic than the cases with constant or variable heat transfer coefficient. Thermal gradients along the depth decrease as z and x coordinates increase.

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