In order to overcome the limitations of traditional laser machining, a new concept of laser machining using two intersecting beams is proposed. The optimization of this process requires an understanding of the phenomena involved in so-called laser “blind” cutting, as the new process and the machine performing this process are based on the production of “blind” kerfs which, by intersecting, remove a desired volume of material. This paper is a first attempt to establish a theoretical model for laser “blind” cutting, taking an energy balance approach to the problem and predicting the depth of kerfs that can be produced in a given material with a given laser power. Experimental results achieved with several ceramic materials are compared with the proposed model. Furthermore, certain issues related to the dimensional accuracy of the new process are also addressed.

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