Abstract

Polyoxymethylene (POM) decomposes gradually as it is heated up by the irradiation of CO2 laser; the long-chain molecules of POM are broken into short chains, which leads to the lowering of the melting point and the critical temperature of the ablation products. When the product temperature is above the melting point, ablation comes up in the way of vaporization; when the product temperature is higher than the critical temperature, all liquid products are transformed into gas instantly and the ablation mechanism is changed. The laser fluence at which significant ablation is observed is defined as the ablation threshold, and the fluence corresponding to the ablation mechanism changing is denoted as the flyover threshold. In this paper, random pyrolysis is adopted to describe the pyrolytic decomposition of POM, and consequently, the components of the pyrolysis products under different pyrolysis rates are acquired. The Group Contribution method is used to count the thermodynamic properties of the pyrolysis products, and the melting point and the critical temperature of the product mixture are obtained by the Mixing Law. The Knudsen layer relationship is employed to evaluate the ablation mass removal when the product temperature is below the critical temperature. The gas dynamics conservation laws associated with the Jouguet condition are used to calculate the mass removal when the product temperature is higher than the critical temperature. Based on the model, a set of simulations for various laser intensities and lengths are carried out to generalize the relationships between the thresholds and the laser parameters. Besides the ablated mass areal density, which fits the experimental data quite well, the ablation temperature, pyrolysis rate, and product components are also discussed for a better understanding of the ablation mechanism of POM.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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