This article focuses on a variety of laser beam machining (LBM) operations of aluminum and its alloys, namely, laser cutting, laser drilling, laser milling, laser turning, laser grooving, laser scribing, laser marking, and laser micromachining. It presents different approaches for carrying out machining operations, laser processing parameters, efficiency and accuracy of the process, and the effect of laser processing parameters on the quality of the machined surface. The article provides an overview of the various conventional (chip forming) and nonconventional machining techniques employed for aluminum-based materials. A comparison of the various aspects of LBM with other non-conventional techniques is also presented. The article also describes the features of LBM techniques employed for aluminum and its alloys for different types of machining.
Lasers evolved as a versatile materials processing tool due to their advantages such as rapid, reproducible processing, chemical cleanliness, ability to handle variety of materials, and suitability for automation. This article focuses on state-of-the-art laser applications to improve tribological performance of structural materials in lubricated and nonlubricated environments. It discusses the fundamentals of various laser materials interactions and reviews laser-based surface-modification strategies, including laser surface heating and melting, laser-synthesized coatings, and laser-based design approaches such as laser patterning and dimpling. Laser-surface modification of novel materials, such as high-entropy alloys and metallic glasses, is explored. The article provides an overview of hybrid techniques involving laser as a secondary tool, as well as a discussion on the improved capabilities of laser surface engineering for tribological applications by means of integrated computational process modeling.