This paper presents a method for reducing the thermal damage of composite materials during laser grooving. The method utilizes a water jet in tandem with the laser beam in an attempt to control the heat conducted into the workpiece. The paper presents a theoretical analysis for determining the relationships between groove depth and heat affected zone, and the laser and water jet operating parameters. The theoretical analysis accounts for the effect of the heat transfer due to the water jet. The predictions of the analysis are compared with experimental results whereby the heat-affected zone is reduced up to 70 percent by using a water jet. The paper includes experimental findings regarding the optimum operating point of the water jet for minimizing the heat-affected zone (HAZ) and maximizing the achievable groove depth.

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