Polarization effects associated with thermal processing of HY-80 structural steel using high-power laser diode array
Localized heating of roughened steel surfaces using highly divergent laser light emitted from high-power laser diode arrays was experimentally demonstrated and compared with theoretical predictions. Polarization dependence was analyzed using Fresnel coefficients to understand the laser-induced temperature rise of HY-80 steel plates under 383- to 612-W laser irradiation. Laser-induced, transient temperature distributions were directly measured using bulk thermocouple probes and thermal imaging. Finite-element analysis yielded quantitative assessment of energy deposition and heat transport in HY-80 steel using absorptivity as a tuning parameter. The extracted absorptivity values ranged from 0.62 to 0.75 for S-polarized and 0.63 to 0.85 for P-polarized light, in agreement with partially oxidized iron surfaces. Microstructural analysis using electron backscatter diffraction revealed a heat affected zone for the highest temperature conditions (612 W, P-polarized) as evidence of rapid quenching and an austenite to martensite transformation. The efficient use of diode arrays for laser-assisted advanced manufacturing technologies, such as hybrid friction stir welding, is discussed.