Final polishing operation for die and mould manufacturing represents up to 30% of the total manufacturing cost and it is a high added value operation carried out manually by qualified personnel. The work presented in this paper proposes an automated solution for this task by the process known as Laser Polishing. This process is based on the application of a laser beam melting a microscopic layer of material, which lately solidifies filling the gaps, and smoothing the overall topography. Several Laser Polishing tests have been done with CO2 and High Power Diode Lasers (HPDL) on two different materials commonly used in die and mould industry: a DIN 1,2379 Tool Steel tempered up to 62HRC, used for injection moulds inserts, and a spheroidal graphite Cast Iron DIN GGG70L used typically on large stamping dies manufacturing. By means of the tests and Design of Experiments (DoE) technique, the operation parameters for the Laser Polishing process as well as its degree of influence in the melted surface have been defined. Starting off from an initial surface obtained by means of High Speed Milling operation, it has been possible to obtain satisfactory results with final roughness reductions higher than 80% with respect to the initial values, and mean roughness values below 0.8μm Ra.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.