Finite element simulation and experimental validation of pulsed laser cutting of nitinol

C. H. Fu, M. P. Sealy, Y. B. Guo, X. T. Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Nitinol (NiTi) alloys are widely used in laser cutting of cardiovascular stents due to excellent biomechanical properties. However, laser cutting induces thermal damage, such as heat affected zone (HAZ), micro-cracks, and tensile residual stress, which detrimentally affect product performance. The key process features such as temperature distribution, stress development, and HAZ formation are difficult to measure experimentally due to the highly transient nature. In this study, a design-of-experiment (DOE) based 3-dimensional (3D) finite element simulation was developed to shed light on process mechanisms of laser cutting NiTi. The effects of cutting speed, peak pulse power, and pulse width on kerf width, temperature, stress, and HAZ were investigated. A DFLUX user subroutine was developed to model a moving volumetric (3D) heat flux of a pulsed laser. Also, a material user subroutine was used that incorporated superelasticity and shape memory of NiTi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Processes
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • FEA
  • Laser cutting
  • NiTi
  • Shape memory alloy
  • Surface integrity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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