Basic knowledge of laser cutting
As early as the 1970s, lasers were first used for cutting. In modern industrial production, laser cutting is more widely used in sheet metal, plastics, glass, ceramics, semiconductors, textiles, wood and paper and other materials processing.
In recent years, the application of laser cutting in the field of precision machining and micro-machining will also achieve substantial growth. Below, our editor from Hongte Laser will introduce you the basic knowledge of laser cutting:
When focusing When the laser beam is irradiated on the workpiece, the irradiated area will rise sharply to melt or vaporize the material. Once the laser beam penetrates the workpiece, the cutting process begins: the laser beam moves along the contour line while melting the material. Usually a jet of air is used to blow the melt away from the incision, leaving a narrow gap between the cutting part and the plate frame. The narrow gap is almost the same width as the focused laser beam. Flame cutting Flame cutting is used when cutting mild steel. A standard process that uses oxygen as the cutting gas. Oxygen is pressurized up to 6 bar and then blown into the incision. There, the heated metal reacts with oxygen: it starts to burn and oxidize. The chemical reaction releases a large amount of energy (up to five times the laser energy) to assist the laser beam in cutting. Melt cutting Melt cutting is another standard process used when cutting metal. It can also be used to cut other fusible materials, such as ceramics. Use nitrogen or argon as the cutting gas, and blow the gas with a pressure of 2-20 bar through the incision. Argon and nitrogen are inert gases, which means that they do not react with the molten metal in the incision, but only blow them to the bottom. At the same time, inert gas can protect the cutting edge from air oxidation. Compressed air cutting Compressed air can also be used to cut thin plates. Air pressurization to 5-6 bar is enough to blow away the molten metal in the incision. Since nearly 80% of the air is nitrogen, compressed air cutting is basically a fusion cutting. Plasma-assisted cutting If the parameters are selected appropriately, plasma clouds will appear in the plasma-assisted melting and cutting incision. The plasma cloud is composed of ionized metal vapor and ionized cutting gas. The plasma cloud absorbs the energy of the CO2 laser and transforms it into the workpiece, so that more energy is coupled to the workpiece, the material will melt faster, and the cutting speed will be faster. Therefore, this cutting process is also called high-speed plasma cutting. The plasma cloud is actually transparent to solid lasers, so plasma-assisted melting and cutting can only use CO2 lasers.
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