Duralumin sheets are strong, hard, light weight and heat treated alloy of Aluminum, widely used by different sectors such as automobile, marine, aircraft and satellites. Many a times those applications demand complex shapes and intricate profiles with stringent design requirements which are not completely achieved by conventional sheet cutting methods. Laser cutting has capability of quality cutting with above requirements in thin sheetmetals. But highly reflective and thermally conductive sheetmetals like Duralumin pose difficulty in achieving quality cuts by laser beam. The kerf taper always occurs in laser cut specimen due to inherent converging-diverging profile of laser beam. The optimization of kerf taper and other cut qualities such as surface roughness, heat affected zone and recast layer formation in difficult-to-laser-cut sheetmetals like Duralumin or Aluminium alloy has become recent research interests. The aim of present research is to optimize kerf taper in pulsed laser cutting of Duralumin sheet using hybrid approach of ‘design of experiment (DOE)’ and ‘artificial intelligence tool’ such as genetic algorithm. The empirical model for kerf taper has also been proposed with the discussion on parametric effect.

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