Laser forming is a spring-back-free noncontact forming method that has received considerable attention in recent years. Compared to mechanical bending, no hard tooling, dies, or external force is used. Within laser forming, tube bending is an important industrial activity with applications in critical engineering systems such as heat exchangers, hydraulic systems, boilers, etc. Laser tube bending utilizes the thermal stresses generated during laser scanning to achieve the desired bends. The parameters varied to control the process are usually laser power, beam diameter, scanning velocity, and the number of scans. The thermal stresses generated during laser scanning are strongly dependent upon laser beam geometry. The existing laser bending methods use either circular or rectangular beams. These beam geometries sometimes lead to undesirable effects such as buckling and distortion in tube bending. This paper investigates the effects for various laser beam geometries on laser tube bending. Finite element modeling has been used for the study of the process with some results also validated by experiments.

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