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The best way for laser cutting machine to cut steel plate

by:VENTECH     2022-03-18

1. Oxygen-fuel gas cutting

Oxygen-gas torch cutting or flame cutting is by far the oldest cutting process available for medium carbon steel. People usually regard it as a simple process, and the equipment and consumables used are relatively inexpensive. The oxygen-fuel cutting torch can cut very thick steel plates, mainly limited by the amount of oxygen that can be delivered. It is not unheard of to use an oxy-fuel torch to cut 36 or even 48-inch steel plates. However, as far as steel plate forming and cutting are concerned, most of the work is performed on steel plates with a thickness of 12 inches at most.

After proper adjustment, the oxygen-gas cutting torch can achieve a smooth surface for vertical cutting. There is almost no slag on the lower edge, and the top edge is slightly rounded only because of the preheating flame. This surface is very suitable for many applications that do not require further treatment.

Although oxygen-gas cutting is suitable for steel plates with a thickness of more than 1 inch, the thickness of the applicable steel plates can be as low as about 1/4 inch, but there are certain difficulties. This process is relatively slow, up to about 20 inches per minute on a 1-inch material. Another advantage of oxy-fuel cutting is that multiple torches can be used for easy cutting at the same time, thereby realizing a multiplier of productivity.

2, plasma cutting

Plasma arc cutting is an ideal process for cutting medium carbon steel plates. Its cutting speed is much higher than that of oxygen-gas cutting, but it will sacrifice some edge quality. This is where plasma cutting is difficult to handle. The edge quality has an optimal position that depends on the cutting current, and its range is usually between about 1/4 inch and 1.5 inches. In general, when the steel plate is indeed very thin or thick (outside the range mentioned above), although the edge smoothness and slagging performance may still be quite good, the edge verticality will begin to suffer.

Compared with oxygen-gas cutting torch, plasma equipment is more expensive, because a complete system requires power supply, water cooler (for systems exceeding about 100 amps), gas control device, cutting torch wire, Connect hoses u0026 cables and the torch itself. However, the increased productivity of plasma relative to oxygen-gas will quickly compensate for system costs.

Multiple torches can be used to perform plasma cutting at the same time, but additional cost factors usually limit this to two torches. However, some customers do choose to configure as many as three or four plasma systems on a machine, but these customers are usually high-end manufacturers who cut a large number of the same parts to meet the needs of the production line.

3. Laser cutting

The laser cutting process is suitable for cutting medium carbon steel from the minimum calibrated thickness to about 1.25 inches. Beyond the range of 1 inch, all factors such as material (laser grade steel), gas purity, nozzle conditions, and laser beam quality must be correct for reliable operation.

The speed of the laser process is not very fast, because fundamentally speaking, the laser is just a focused laser beam (not a preheated flame) applied to the combustion process of medium carbon steel with extreme high temperature. Therefore, its speed is limited by the speed of the chemical reaction between iron and oxygen. However, the precision of the laser process is extremely high. Since a very narrow incision width can be formed, contours and small holes with extremely high accuracy can be cut. The edge quality is usually quite satisfactory, with very small fine teeth and delay lines, very square edges and little or no dross.

The other big advantage of laser technology is reliability. Consumables have a very long life and a high degree of mechanical automation, so many laser cutting operations can be carried out in an 'unattended' state. Imagine that you load a 10'x40' 1/2' steel plate on the workbench, press the 'Start' button, and go home at night. When you come back in the morning, there will be hundreds of parts cut, waiting to be unloaded.< /p>

In view of the complexity of beam transmission, CO2 laser is not suitable for multi-head cutting on the same machine. However, fiber lasers can perform multi-head cutting.

4. Water jet cutting

Water jet cutting can also cut medium carbon steel very well, and can achieve smooth and high-precision cutting results. The accuracy of water jet cutting is higher than that of laser cutting because of the better edge smoothness and no thermal deformation. In addition, the thickness limitation of water jet and laser and plasma cutting is different. The actual limit of water jet cutting is about 6 to 8 inches, based on the length of time to cut the thickness and the tendency of the water flow to deviate.

The disadvantage of water jet cutting lies in operating costs. Due to the high cost of the booster pump, the initial equipment cost is usually slightly higher than that of plasma cutting, but not as high as laser cutting. But mainly because the cost of the garnet abrasive for cutting is higher, the hourly cost of running the water jet is much higher.

In addition, water jet cutting is also suitable for multi-head cutting, and a single booster pump can even accomplish this task. But every time a cutting head is added, the water flow needs to be increased, which in turn requires a larger pump or a smaller orifice.

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