Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Thermal Stresses

pp 5808-5826

Thermoelastic Waves Induced by Pulsed Laser Heating

  • Xinwei WangAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University Email author 
  • , Yanan YueAffiliated withSchool of Power and Mechanical Engineering, Wuhan University
  • , Xianfan XuAffiliated withSchool of Mechanical Engineering and Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University


Thermal and thermomechanical phenomena occurring in laser-material interaction are of great interest due to extensive applications of lasers in materials processing and nondestructive detecting and characterization. When a solid is illuminated with a laser, the resulting thermal phenomena include volumetric absorption of laser beam energy, temperature increase in the solid, and heat transfer from the solid to the gas adjacent to the solid surface. When the intensity of the laser beam is high enough, melting, evaporating, and ablation could happen. Accompanying the heating process of the solid and the gas, thermomechanical phenomena occur simultaneously, producing an acoustic wave generated in the adjacent gas due to the pressure increase of the gas near the solid surface, termed photoacoustic (PA) phenomena. Also a stress wave is generated in the solid due to the rapid thermal expansion of the solid, namely, the thermoelastic wave. If laser-material interaction involves ...

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